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Away from Her (Vintage International) [Kindle Edition]

Alice Munro
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.00
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description


Alice Munro has long been heralded for her penetrating, lyrical prose, and in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” – the basis for Sarah Polley’s film Away From Her — her prodigious talents are once again on display. As she follows Grant, a retired professor whose wife Fiona begins gradually to lose her memory and drift away from him, we slowly see how a lifetime of intimate details can create a marriage, and how mysterious the bonds of love really are.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


“I’ve always loved Alice Munro’s writing, but this story punctured something. I read it, stunned, and let it sit there. It seemed to enter like a bullet. So concise and unsentimental, nothing to cushion the blow of its impact. When I was finished, I couldn’t stop weeping.”
—Sarah Polley, from the Preface

“Munro has a strong claim to being the best fiction writer now working in North America.”
—Jonathan Franzen, The New York Times Book Review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 805 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (November 26, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001M5JVJI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Short Story June 14, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although a friend whose taste I respect swears by Alice Munro and at her recommendation, I have been going to read this writer for years, "Away From Her/The Bear Came Over the Mountain" is the first thing I have read by this author and after having seen the wonderful film directed by Sarah Polley and starring Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent and Olympia Dukakis. I have the same problem with this short story that I had with Michael Cunningham's THE HOURS and with Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain." I cannot separate the written word from the movies although I read both of these writers before seeing the films. They are forever merged in my brain as is the case I think when the movie is as good as the novel or short story. To further complicate matters, Ms. Polly writes a thoughtful, incisive preface to this edition of the short story so I also have her words to try to separate from the film and Ms. Munro's prose.

It is difficult not to draw parallels with the Munro story and the Polley film. There are differences but Ms. Polley gets into the heart of the story. Ms. Munro, on the other hand, can draw a picture with few, unsentimental words and can tell the reader directly what the film often can say only with facial expressions and gestures: When Ms. Munro describes at some length Grant's many affairs many years ago while married to Fiona, she informs the reader that "He had never had any intention of throwing up work and marriage and taking to the country to practice carpentry or keep bees." Or "Her hair, which was light as milkweed fluff, had gone from pale blonde to white somehow without Grant's noticing exactly when, [something difficult to show in the film] and she still wore it down to her shoulders, as her mother had done.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong story, beautifully written July 18, 2007
Away From Her is actually Alice Munro's short story, The Bear Came Over The Mountain. The title change is because the story was made into a feature film. I would suspect that the attention the film brought to the story resulted in Vintage Books publishing a slim volume of 76 pages.

Grant is a retired professor who, while he loves his wife, Fiona, has spent his life balancing marriage with love affairs. Fiona is 70 and begins to exhibit memory loss. As she slowly recedes into the fog of Alzheimer's, the past and present are thrust upon Grant with unrelenting confusion, guilt and sadness.

When Grant is finally forced to place Fiona in the Meadowlake facility he is not prepared, after a mandatory thirty-day separation to help her settle in, to find that his wife is truly gone to him. Somehow he thought he'd have time--days, weeks, perhaps months, before she left him for good. But when he arrives at Meadowlake, Fiona has embraced life there and has made new friends. The most important friend is Aubrey. And when Aubrey leaves the facility, Fiona's health rapidly deteriorates. If Grant is to save his wife from the `second' floor of Meadowlake, he will have to be selfless and do what he thinks is best for Fiona. But will it matter?

Munro's prose is sparse, concise and straightforward. But the simple and beautiful words reach out to you and grab your attention and demand to be felt. It's not just a story about Alzheimer's disease; it's a deep and rich love story. And the combination of the Alzheimer's and love will leave you breathless. This is a volume I will keep and read again and again, savoring each word and most likely receiving different messages with each read.

Armchair Interviews says: A must read for everyone who has been touched by the insidiousness of Alzheimer's and for those who haven't.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Duplicate story June 17, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Buy instead "Carried Away- A Selection of Stories" in Everyman's Library. It contains this story as well as "Runaway." I bought three books where one would have sufficed. I wish Amazon would list the titles of short stories included in an anthology!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bear Came Over the Mountain May 23, 2009
When this title popped up in my amazonian recommendations, I leapt at it, thinking it was new work. It isn't. It's the very fine novella "The Bear Came Over the Mountain", originally published as the final story of the collection 'Hateship, Friendship,Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.' I would strongly recommend buying that collection rather than this publisher's effort to capitalize on a film based on the story. "The Bear Came..." is also included in the selected stories of Alice Munro, but even that is less satisfactory than the whole original collection. Munro's books are not just compilations of stories already sold to magazines; each of her books is a kind of suite of stories that interrelate and amplify each other.


There, I've said it. IMHO :-)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We need more details October 19, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a great collection but I found that I had read most of the stories in other collections. It would be fair if the stories were listed in the book description. And I don't think it's fair to call it a "sample" when all it includes is the preface not even written by the aurhor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend for anyone whose spouse has alzheimer's June 1, 2014
By Marge V
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is a great help for anyone especially a spouse who has someone with alzheimer disease. The story shows how the husband copes with her only sometime recognizing him and showing more concern towards a fellow patient. It wasn't a perfect marriage and he is also coping with some regrets and guilt. He deals with a lot of emotions and then proceeds to understand them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Munro is a fine writer though and any of her short stories are ...
Another look at the dread disease. Not sure about some of the sound memories while forgetting who husband was. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ginagain
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Alice Munro's Away from her kept my attention going and made read the book non stop. I can understand the difficulties of getting older and feelings about a long-time relationship. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Maria Teresa
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, But...
This book was very readable and offered interesting glimpses into the protagonist's psyche, but I thought the ending was glib.
Published 8 months ago by Pat Chicago
5.0 out of 5 stars munro
I saw in the paper this author had won the Pulitzer,this book was wonderful. I am very pleased with this purchase
Published 10 months ago by beverly henry brown
5.0 out of 5 stars This will tear at your heart
This short book is so well written you are immediately woven into the lives of the characters.
So many couples are dealing with handling dementia as they age. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Linda Crocker
4.0 out of 5 stars Away from Her book
Since I just lost my husband to Alzheimer's dementia and he had been in a nursing home, the book was very meaningful to me. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Theresa Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars away from her
I love this short story or novella. Each time I read it I see something new and glorious. Alice Munro is a writer of great insight and talent. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars always a winner
Munro brings out the heart and compassion in this elder-years story. I found myself aligning with the complexity of the story and the characters as they have to move off of their... Read more
Published 12 months ago by JJR
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Alice!
Beautifully written novella. Don't want to give anything away; sweet without being sentimental. The things ee do for love! This i s truly vintage Alice Munro. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Carol Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading gallery
I bought this novel for my mother as she wanted to purchase it. She loved it, which led me to purchase two other novels of Munro's for the Christmas season. Read more
Published 13 months ago by lw
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More About the Author

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published eleven previous books.During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the W.H. Smith Prize, the National Book Circle Critics Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the Lannan Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and the Rea Award for the Short Story. In Canada, she has won the Governor General's Award, the Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Libris Award.Alice Munro and her husband divide their time between Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.

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