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Dance of the Happy Shades

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In these fifteen short stories?her eighth collection of short stories in a long and distinguished career?Alice Munro conjures ordinary lives with an extraordinary vision, displaying the remarkable talent for which she is now widely celebrated. Set on farms, by river marshes, in the lonely towns and new suburbs of western Ontario, these tales are luminous acts of attention to those vivid moments when revelation emerges from the layers of experience that lie behind even the most everyday events and lives.

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1985 Trade paperback Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Trade paperback ... (US). Glued binding. 240 p. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Dance of the Happy Shades

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Overview

In these fifteen short stories—her eighth collection of short stories in a long and distinguished career—Alice Munro conjures ordinary lives with an extraordinary vision, displaying the remarkable talent for which she is now widely celebrated. Set on farms, by river marshes, in the lonely towns and new suburbs of western Ontario, these tales are luminous acts of attention to those vivid moments when revelation emerges from the layers of experience that lie behind even the most everyday events and lives.

"Virtuosity, elemental command, incisive like a diamond, remarkable: all these descriptions fit Alice Munro."—Christian Science Monitor

"How does one know when one is in the grip of art—of a major talent?....It is art that speaks from the pages of Alice Munro's stories."—Wall Street Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Martin Levin
Munro poses more questions than answers -- a refreshing strategy. -- NY Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140066814
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/4/1985
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Munro

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published eleven new collections of stories-Dance of the Happy Shades; Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You; The Beggar Maid; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; The Love of a Good Woman; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; and a volume of Selected Stories-as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the Man Booker International Prize, three of Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards and two of its Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England's W. H. Smith Book Award, the United States' National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.Alice Munro divides her time between Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron, and Comox, British Columbia.

Biography

Even though Alice Munro is known for her love stories, don't mistake her for just another romance writer. Munro never romanticizes love, but rather presents it in all of its frustrating complexity. She does not feel impelled to tack happy endings onto her tales of heartbreak and healing. As a result, Munro's wholly credible love stories have marked her as a true original who spins stories that are as honest as they are dramatic.

Alice Munro got her start in writing as a teenager in Ontario, and published her first story while attending Western Ontario University in 1950. Her first book, a collection of short stories titled Dance of the Happy Shades, would not be published until 1968, but when it arrived, Munro rapidly established herself as a unique voice in contemporary literature. Over the course of fifteen short stories, Munro displayed a firmly focused vision, detailing the loves and life-altering moments of the inhabitants of rural Ontario. Munro takes a gradual, methodical approach to unraveling her stories, often developing a character's perspective through several paragraphs, only to demolish it with a single, biting sentence. Yet she also explores those heartbreaking delusions of her characters with humanity, undercutting the bitterness with genuine compassion.

Munro was instantly recognized for her debut collection of stories, winning the prestigious Governor General's Award in Canada. Monroe would then spend the majority of her career writing short stories rather than novels. "I want to tell a story, in the old-fashioned way -- what happens to somebody -- but I want that 'what happens' to be delivered with quite a bit of interruption, turnarounds, and strangeness," she explained to Random House.com. "I want the reader to feel something is astonishing -- not the 'what happens' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me." Munro would only write one novel, Lives of Girls and Women, a coming-of-age tale about a young girl named Del Jordan, which is actually structured more like a collection of short stories than a typical novel. Throughout the rest of her work, she would continue to explore themes of love and the way memories shape one's life in short story collections such as Friend of My Youth, Open Secrets, and the award-winning The Love of a Good Woman, and her most recent, Runaway.

Because her stories are so unencumbered by clichés and speak with such clarity and truthfulness, it is often assumed that Munro's work is largely autobiographical. The fact that she chooses to set so many of her tales in her hometown only fuel these assumptions further. However, Munro says that very little of her material is based on her own life, and takes a more creative approach to inventing her finely developed characters. "Suppose you have -- in memory -- a young woman stepping off a train in an outfit so elegant her family is compelled to take her down a peg (as happened to me once)," she explains, "and it somehow becomes a wife who's been recovering from a mental breakdown, met by her husband and his mother and the mother's nurse whom the husband doesn't yet know he's in love with. How did that happen? I don't know."

As Munro grows older, her themes are turning more and more toward illness and death, yet she continues to display a startling vitality and youthfulness in her writing. A writer with a long and celebrated career, Alice Munro's work is just as compelling, honest, and insightful as ever.

Good To Know

Munro dropped out of college in 1951 to marry fellow student James Munro. The couple opened a bookstore in Victoria, had three children, and divorced in 1972. Munro continues to live in Canada with her second husband, geographer Gerald Fremlin.

Munro wrote on a typewriter for a good part of her career, calling herself a "late convert to every technological offering" in a publisher's interview. "I still don't own a microwave oven," she says.

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    1. Hometown:
      Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 10, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wingham, Ontario, Canada
    1. Education:
      University of Western Ontario (no degree)

Table of Contents

Walker Brothers Cowboy

The Shining Houses

Images

Thanks for the Ride

The Office

An Ounce of Cure

The Time of Death

Day of the Butterfly

Boys and Girls

Postcard

Red Dress—1946

Sunday Afternoon

A Trip to the Coast

The Peace of Utrecht

Dance of the Happy Shades

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2004

    descriptions of accuracy

    I found that these short stories were genuine and real to human nature. The illustrative words used, were perfectly fixed into the narratives and drew me closer to Munro's meanings and intentions. I found it intriguing that she begin so far into a scene and finish so abruptly before there was an evident ending- leaving suspense and room for thought. Alice Munro has impressed on me the power of description and attention to detail.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

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