Reputed to be one of the world’s greatest writers and yet she only ever writes short stories, an art form I have little patience for as I do like to lose myself in a book. But these are different, they do stand out, they are very special and they have got to be read.
Comparison: There is nobody else who only writes short stories, so if you read her for those there is no other comparison but you could try William Trevor, Margaret Forster or Jane Yardley.
Similar this month: None.
At the centre of Runaway are three stories connected into one marvellously rich, long narrative, about Juliet - who escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild and passionate love match; then returns to the home of her parents, whose life and curious marriage she finally begins to examine; while in the third part of her story, her vanished child turns up caught in the grip of a religious cult. The whole picture emerges only when all the pieces of the jigsaw are finally in place. The runaway of the disturbing title story is Carla, a congenital 'bolter', who has neighbourly fantasies that take on a frightening afterlife- Elsewhere, a stagestruck girl finds life is more Shakespearean than even she imagines; while Tessa, a young country woman with strange powers cannot foresee what will happen if she makes off with a plausible charmer. Munro's stories unravel layers of the past, and different versions of the truth: her characters learn that if you look too closely at anything - the past, the truth - it may crumble. Runaway is about the power and betrayals, and twists, of love, about lost children, lost chances. There is pain and desolation beneath the surface, like a needle in the heart, which makes them more powerful and compelling than anything she has written. Munro is a magician with words, but also with layers of life and emotion.
Alice Munro's short stories have an epiphanic quality, in the tradition of Joyce and Chekhov Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday
Publication date: 05/01/2006
Format: Paperback (b Format)
Publication date: 03/02/2005
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
|Publication date:||5th January 2006|
|Format:||Paperback (b Format)|
Alice Munro is the author of The Beggar Maid (shortlisted for the Booker Prize) a novel and several outstanding collections of stories, including Open Secrets (winner of the WHSmith Literary Award), and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. Her work appears regularly in The New Yorker and she is a winner of the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Prize in her native Canada. She was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.More About Alice Munro