Canadian author Alice Munro has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for literature. Check out her works:
With her peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but spacious and timeless stories, Alice Munro illumines the moment a life is shaped -- the moment a dream, or sex, or perhaps a simple twist of fate turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into another way of being. Suffused with Munro's clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these stories (set in the world Munro has made her own: the countryside and towns around Lake Huron) about departures and beginnings, accidents, dangers, and homecomings both virtual and real, paint a vivid and lasting portrait of how strange, dangerous, and extraordinary the ordinary life can be.
Too Much Happiness
Brilliantly paced, lit with sparks of danger and underlying menace, these are dazzling, provocative stories about Svengali men and the radical women who outmanoeuvre them, about destructive marriages and curdled friendships, about mothers and sons, about moments that change or haunt a life. A wife and mother whose spirit has been crushed finds release from her extraordinary pain in the most unlikely of places. The young victim of a humiliating seduction (which involves reading Housman in the nude) finds an unusual way to get her own back and move on. An older woman, dying of cancer, weaves a poisonous story to save her life. Alice Munro takes on complex, even harrowing emotions and events and renders them into stories that surprise, amaze, and shed light on the unpredictable ways we accommodate to what happens in our lives.
Away From Her
Married for fifty years, Grant and Fiona's perfect life together is shattered after Fiona is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
The View From Castle Rock
A new collection of stories by Alice Munro is always a major event. This new collection -- her most personal to date -- is no exception. Alice Munro's stories are always wonderful and so ingrained with truths about life that readers always want to know where they came from. In this book, Alice Munro tells us. In her Foreword (an unusual feature in itself), she explains how she, born Alice Laidlaw in Ontario, in recent years became interested in the history of her Laidlaw ancestors. Starting in the wilds of the Scottish Borders, she learned a great deal about a famous ancestor, born around 1700, who, as his tombstone records, "for feats of frolic, agility and strength, had no equal in his day." She traced the family's history with the help of that man's nephew, the famous writer James Hogg, finding to her delight that each generation of the family had produced a writer who wanted to record what had befallen them. In this way, she was able to follow the family's voyage to Canada in 1818, and their hard times as pioneers -- once a father dies on the same day that a daughter is born in the same frontier cabin. "I put all this material together over the years," Alice tells us, "and almost without my noticing what was happening, it began to shape itself, here and there, into something almost like stories. Some of the characters gave themselves to me in their own words, others rose out of their situations." As the book goes down through the generations, we come to Robert Laidlaw, Alice's father, and then, at the book's heart, the stories become first-person stories, set during her lifetime. So is this a memoir? No. She drew on personal experiences, "but then I did anything I wanted to with this material, because the chief thing I was doing was making a story." The resulting collection of stories range from the title story -- where through a haze of whiskey Alice's ancestors gaze north from Edinburgh Castle at the Fife coast, believing that it is North America -- all the way to the final story, where we travel with "Alice Munro" today. In the author's words, these stories "pay more attention to the truth of a life than fiction usually does. But not enough to swear on." All of them are Alice Munro stories. There could be no higher praise.
"Runaway"is the first story in this stunning collection, sure to be a runaway success. All of the eight stories here are new, published in book form for the first time. Two of the eight have never appeared anywhere, so this will be a special feast for the millions of Munro fans around the world. Miraculously, these stories seem to have been written by a young writer at the peak of her powers. Alice Munro's central characters range from 14-year-old Lauren in "Trespass," through the young couple in "Runaway," whose helpful older neighbour intervenes to help the wife escape, all the way to a 70-year-old woman meeting a friend of her youth on a Vancouver street and sitting with him to recall their tangled lives fifty years earlier, through a web of cheerful lies. Three of the stories, "Chance," "Soon," and "Silence," are linked, showing us how the young teacher Juliet meets her fisherman lover on a train (and, by terrible chance, visits his B.C. home on the day after his wife's funeral); how, years later, she brings baby Penelope back east to show her parents and learns sad secrets about their marriage; and how, twenty years on, she visits the estranged Penelope in her cult-like B.C. community. The result is more powerful than most novels, a quality in Alice Munro's stories that has been noted by many reviewers. The final story, "Powers," spans 50 years and runs from Goderich to Vancouver and involves a cast of four characters, each of whom steps forward to dominate the scene, not least Tessa, the plain girl whose psychic powers take her on the vaudeville circuit. But it is Alice Munro's own powers that dominate this collection and that will amaze reviewers and readers. How can she keep getting better? How can any one person know so much about the heads and hearts of so many different people? And how can she weave them together in stories that delight academics and ordinary readers alike, making each new Alice Munro book a runaway bestseller?
Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage.
Here's another collection of short but sure-to-please stories from the incomparable Alice Munro. This is the tenth collection of stories from Canada's matchless chronicler of women's external fates, inner lives, and painful journeys toward and away from self-understanding. These particular nine tales are set mostly in Munro's native Ontario or in Western Canada, and they're sure to leave listeners mesmerized once again.
The love a good woman
All of these eight wonderful stories are about what people will do for love, and the unexpected routes their passion will force them to take. An old landlady in Vancouver who alarms the just-married narrator with her prim advice about married life - and "the peculiar threat" of a china cabinet that must be washed once a month - is shown to have conspired when young in a crime of passion. A young mother, at the mercy of the "radiant explosion" that comes when she thinks of her secret life, abandons her baby and four-year old to be with her lover in the story "The Children Stay." A gruff old country doctor in the 1960s is discovered by his daughter to be helping desperate women, his "special patients." An impetuous young woman meets a visiting Indian student and conceives on a train from Vancouver to Toronto because of "the fact that you couldn't get condoms around the Calgary station, not for love or money." An Ontario farm wife's affair drives her husband to commit a murder; its discovery, years later, will act as a negotiating point for a new, presumably satisfactory, marriage. The book is clear-eyed about the imperfections of marriage, the clutter of our emotional lives, and the impermanence of love: "Not that that was the end. For we did make up. But we didn't forgive each other." Even the shared memories of earlier times prove to be a minefield, and many of the stories track the changes that time brings over generations to families, lovers, and even to friends who share old, intimate secrets about "the prostration of love." As always these stories by Alice Munro are shot through with humour, and are as rich as novels. As always the characters in the stories are easily, sometimes uncomfortably, recognizable as people like us. One quote summarizes the delightful surprises that await the reader: "Did you ever think that people's lives could be like that and end up like this? Well, they can."
Open Secrets, Alice Munro's eighth book, consists of eight matchless stories, each one as rich as a full novel. All of them provide compulsive reading - and rewarding re-reading. "Perhaps you will be surprised to hear from a person you don't know and that doesn't remember your name." These intriguing words begin a letter dated 1917 to the Librarian in Carstairs, Ontario (the heart of "Alice Munro Country"). The letter sweeps us away into a world of secrets and revelations where nothing - not even a courtship by letter that leads, over time, to a solid marriage - is as it originally seems. The Ontario stories range from "A Wilderness Station," which gives an account of an 1852 tree-felling accident and sheds light on the harsh life of the pioneers, all the way to the present, where family names known to us appear again in a world of TV shows and snowmobiles. Just as the stories range back and forth in time, they also travel far to distant settings. Much of "The Albanian Virgin" is set in a remote mountain area where a Canadian tourist in the 1920s is captured by bandits; her tale of escape is comforting to a Victoria bookseller escaping from her own former life. "The Jack Randa Hotel" brings a deserted wife in cold pursuit to Australia, which leads to another intriguing letter. "Dear Mrs. Thornaby, It has come to my attention that you are dead..." Things that cannot be explained happen here. In the title story a lawyer's wife has a flash of insight - illogical, unprovable and terrifying - into the fate of a missing teenager; in another, the appearance of a long-dead visitor reveals the grip of a former love. Yet the true magic lies in the way that Alice Munro makes everything here - unexpected marriages, elopements, acts of sudden vengeance - unfold with the ease of the inevitable. This is the mark of a great writer, and it is stamped on every page of this book.