Dear Life

Dear Life

by Alice Munro
3.8 36

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Dear Life by Alice Munro


New York Times Notable Book
Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction
A Best Book of the Year: The Atlantic, NPR, San Francisco ChronicleVogue, AV Club

In story after story in this brilliant new collection, Alice Munro pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken, or a simple twist of fate. Her characters are flawed and fully human: a soldier returning from war and avoiding his fiancée, a wealthy woman deciding whether to confront a blackmailer, an adulterous mother and her neglected children, a guilt-ridden father, a young teacher jilted by her employer. Illumined by Munro’s unflinching insight, these lives draw us in with their quiet depth and surprise us with unexpected turns. And while most are set in her signature territory around Lake Huron, some strike even closer to home: an astonishing suite of four autobiographical tales offers an unprecedented glimpse into Munro’s own childhood. Exalted by her clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, Dear Life shows how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307961044
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/13/2012
Series: Vintage International
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 109,314
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario.  She has published twelve collections of stories and two volumes of selected stories, as well as a novel. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including 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 Literary Award, the United States’ National Book Critics Circle Award, the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature, and the Man Booker International Prize. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.  Alice Munro lives in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron.


Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia

Date of Birth:

July 10, 1931

Place of Birth:

Wingham, Ontario, Canada


University of Western Ontario (no degree)

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Dear Life: Stories 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
mbzych More than 1 year ago
Alice Munros' short stories are always exceptional including this collection. There is a sense, unfortunately , that Munro may be winding down her writing career. This collection contained attributed autobiographical materials. I eagerly await every piece that Munro authors whether it be a magazine piece or a complete book of stories. I hope that she writes forever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
what a wonderful title, hits the right note and is a peak for Munro. She has been called the best of short story writers, and here she is again with her twists and views into ordinary/extraordinary lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book group read DEAR LIFE for this month. All of us found ourselves pausing after each story, taking it in, thinking about it afterwards -- so none of us were able to get all the stories read by the time we met. That we all were involved and moved by her stories, to the point where we could not simply move quickly to the next one, is a strong recommendation -- if you have not read Alice Munro's short stories, they are unlike any other author's work, and well worth reading.
redgurl60 More than 1 year ago
Each story has a profound snippet of life and circumstance. I recommend to read only one story and stew on it for awhile before going on to the next. Very emotional for me. Each story had a sadness that sat in me for a few days. Alice Monroe dumps you into the lives of a few characters with few frills.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say that I am very disappointed after reading the first three short stories. All three were basically the same story. Young woman gets taken advantage of by a man. The stories had no depth. Frankly, I don't think that they were all that well written. None of them left me wanting to read more. or to read the next story. They were no exciting or satisfying. They were just a story with no real purpose as far as I can tell. I don't plan on reading the remainder of the book. I gave the book one star but really I would say it did not even merit one star.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
For years, I had read accolades for Alice Munro's stories, and yet when I would read reviews, nothing jumped out at me. It wasn't until I had finished all the books on my "A" list, that I revisited the possibility of reading her stories. I'm so thankful that I did! With this wonderful collection, a new reading world opened up to me. There are plenty of "coming-of-age" stories out there, and one wearies of them. How many more do we need, from the point of view of youth?? There are "Goldfinch," "We Were Liars," "Agostino," "Sing in the Morning," "Cry at Night" et al. Enough already! But there seems to be a dearth of books about middle-agers and seniors, and as an adult, it's so refreshing to be able to read GOOD stories from an adult point of view. Additionally, instead of focusing on a gory mystery or exciting but unlikely crises, Munro's stories (or at least the ones I have read so far) are relatable to most of us - stories that reflect our ordinary, everyday lives. This wonderful collection was hard to put down! Ms. Munro has a new fan, and I can't wait to devour another of her books!
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Sometimes the truth is in the space between words, and things unsaid reveal more than the question and answers of conversation. Alice Munro’s Dear Life reveals lives, and their secrets, with that same sort of protective silence. Natural conversations, with natural pauses, create the sense of character, time and place. Too little, revealed, keeps the reader searching for more. Then one small slip and the truth will out; the actor slides himself between the lines; the mask falls aside; and what we thought we almost knew is changed... just like in real, dear life. The writing’s spare, convincing, and unemotional, with the tension of genuine need, and the beauty of Canada’s landscapes underneath. Wounded souls have lived through war or privation. Those who’ve kept their emotions reigned in take a step, make a decision, and move on. Betrayal might be ignored, trust broken and restored. Or else the one who cannot stand will find another place. And all these people, the invisible of their land, demand their space, their moment on the page. Sometimes what happens is so small, and its impact so huge, it takes a story to tell it. Alice Munro tells these short stories and lives with masterful precision, voice, and perception, as sure in telling her own past as in revealing the paths of others. Dear Life is a song of life, chance and hope, and a fine collection of intriguing people and stories. Disclosure: We chose it for our book group.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quieteness and revelation in each story that brings one closer to what it means to live.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost all of the stories are about a woman being taken advantage of by a man. Its too detailed about the little things and not detailed about the big things like the characters. The endings feel rushed. Dont waste your time and money on this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent book. The autobiographical stories at the end were particularly moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely stories. Recognize an old fashioned way of speaking. Very thoughtful and deliberate so you cant deny their importance.
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JEGL More than 1 year ago
These short stories ae fascinating. They are a little wierd but not too much.
Ann_J More than 1 year ago
I found the stories rambling with no real plot and questionable points. I just didn't care about any of the characters. Maybe it was the writing style. Might not be too bad if you don't read the stories back to back.
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xxx47 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed only a couple of the stories - best were the ones in back.
Curious-Clara More than 1 year ago
Alice Munro writes stories that ring with the truth of life experiences and leave a person thinking long after one has finished reading. They are well worth reading in any order. I think these stories would encourage lively discussions at book club meetings.
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