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Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 11, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 109 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“What is special about Munro’s lifelong use and reuse of ‘family furnishings’ and ‘unremarkable local landscape’? Partly it is her exceptionally thorough and dedicated mining of the same ingredients, which endlessly come up rich and fresh, seem never to be used up, and however artfully shaped, feel ‘real.’ . . . And there’s the heart of the magic:  the voice of the speakers, and the voice of the narrator who has them speak. From the start, Munro has been brilliant at this, but in the late stories she  has developed an extraordinary elastic fluency, a way of moving without any apparent effort between vividly distinctive local voices, and the sense of someone talking to themselves, or repeating a tale, and something more resonant and contemplative. . . . In the simplest of words, and with the greatest of power, she makes us see and hear an ‘unremarkable’ scene we will never forget.”—Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books
 
“A fitting, final reminder of what a stunning, subtle, and sympathetic explorer of the heart Munro is.”—The Denver Post
 
“A writer who slowly fashioned a house of fiction large enough for both a room of her own and all of her family furnishings—ensuring that she herself had space to maneuver while others still had plenty of space to stretch out and live. Those others include us, her very lucky readers.”—Mike Fischer, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“What a stunning, subtle and sympathetic explorer of the heart Munro is.”—Ron Hansen, The Washington Post
 
“Munro may have arrived at the end of her career, but her stories keep changing as works of art tend to do . . . Even if you’ve read the stories in Family Furnishings before, they still spring surprises large and small. . . . Because Munro’s people often act unpredictably—they wind up doing things they hadn’t known they were going to do and startle themselves—the stories, even on repeated readings retain their original suspense, their sense that anything can happen.”—Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times Book Review
 
“There is simply not a better writer of short fiction alive . . . Alice Munro may have written only short stories, but in each is the mystery of life, the questions of existence, where the answers are rarely answered cleanly.”—Tod Goldberg, Las Vegas Weekly
 
“Munro’s stories are remarkable for their evocation of places and the people who live there, for ambiguities, their ellipses, and their deftness. Her prose is lucid: ranging from delicacy to forthright attack, sometimes witty, ironic.”—Claire Hopley, The Washington Times
 
“Generations to come will relish and study Family Furnishings for clues to the fine craft and mysterious wizardry that make Munro’s stories work. It’s a fitting companion to her Selected Stories (1968-1994)—a superb introduction for those new to her work, and a reminder to longtime fans that Munro is a writer to be cherished.”—Jane Ciabattari, NPR
 
“It is no exaggeration to state that Munro’s short stories are among the finest that have ever been written. . . . She deserves her moment in the sun especially to honor how consistently excellent her work has been—she’s that rare writer who is able to match her early career achievements and even top them in this selection drawn from her most recent six story collections.”—Jenny Shank, The Dallas Morning News
 
“An absolute treasure . . . There is exhilarating language chronicling frighteningly acute forays into the very human need for links to each other. More than anything, there is always Munro’s uncanny ability to make the most horrific moments of the most irrational dreams seem desperately and decidedly human.”—Steven Whitton, The Anniston Star
 
“Nobel prize winner Munro’s literary genius for the short story form has been widely deemed incomparable. The Canadian writer captures those small moments that reverberate through ordinary lives in meticulous prose. Her economy in words fashions a language that pierces the heart.” –The Daily News
“A top-shelf collection by Canadian Nobelist Munro, perhaps the best writer of short stories in English today. These economical, expertly told stories [are] near peerless, modern literary fiction at its very best.”—Kirkus starred review
 
“This extraordinary collection encompasses 24 short stories . . . There is something deeply satisfying about finishing one story and knowing that there are many more to savor. It is particularly illuminating to read the stories in the context of an insightful introduction by Jane Smiley . . . A companion volume to Selected Stories (1968-1994), this most recent effort returns to familiar territory for the Ontario native, but through the nuance and generosity with which she draws each character, feels vivid and fresh at every turn.”—Molly Antopol, San Francisco Chronicle
 
“If there’s literary pleasure greater than reading Alice Munro, it must be rereading Alice Munro.” —Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times
 
“[A] deep and constantly surprising collection. [We tend sometimes] to see stories, and especially stories written by women, as somehow peripheral, non-essential, when they are, in fact, the only thing we have. This is the primary faith of Munro’s writing, that these lives, these interactions—often domestic, and only occasionally dramatic in the broadest sense—matter with the weight of life and death.”––David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times
 
“A blue-ribbon collection now joining her previous Selected Stories in presenting arguably the best of the sterling fiction this personally and professionally unpretentious Canadian has contributed to the world . . . In reading these stories—or rereading them, as will be the case for most of us—what is refreshingly obvious is that Munro has retained all the distinctive characteristics and qualities that set her fiction apart from the outset, including her apparently effortless but actually word-perfect style, her use of family history to inform the contemporary domestic situations she so vividly employs in her stories , the quotidian nature of her characters and their plights (which ultimately gives her characters their wide appeal), and the purposeful elimination of nonessential detail to permit a novel’s worth of substance to comfortably fit into a short story’s confined space.”—Brad Hooper, Booklist starred review

About the Author

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published thirteen collections of stories and a novel. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards, including two Giller Prizes, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Man Booker International Prize. In 2013 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Granta, and many other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives in Port Hope, Canada, on Lake Ontario.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 2.1 pounds
  • Hardcover : 640 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1101874104
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1101874103
  • Product Dimensions : 6.62 x 1.48 x 9.54 inches
  • Publisher : Knopf (November 11, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 109 ratings
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