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Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories Paperback – October 8, 2002
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From The New Yorker
These stories examine the dance between the sexes—from playing in the mud to rolling in the hay to consigning a partner's ashes to the ground. Throughout, Munro's moves are as intricate and startling as the rituals she transcribes are inevitable.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
“Surely Munro’s best yet.” –The New York Times Book Review
“She is the living writer most likely to be read in a hundred years.” –Mona Simpson, The Atlantic Monthly
“One of the foremost practitioners of the art of the short story. . . . These tales have the intimacy of a family photo album and the organic feel of real life.” –The New York Times
“A writer to cherish. . . . The sheer spaciousness of Munro’s storytelling, her gift for surprising us with the truth about ourselves, has transcended national boundaries.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review
“In Munro’s hands, as in Chekhov’s, a short story is more than big enough to hold the world–and to astonish us, again and again.” —Chicago Tribune
Praise from fellow writers:
“Her work felt revolutionary when I came to it, and it still does.” —Jhumpa Lahiri
“She is one of the handful of writers, some living, most dead, whom I have in mind when I say that fiction is my religion.” —Jonthan Franzen
“The authority she brings to the page is just lovely.” —Elizabeth Strout
“She’s the most savage writer I’ve ever read, also the most tender, the most honest, the most perceptive.” —Jeffery Eugenides
“Alice Munro can move characters through time in a way that no other writer can.”—Julian Barnes
“She is a short-story writer who…reimagined what a story can do.” —Loorie Moore
“There’s probably no one alive who’s better at the craft of the short story.” —Jim Shepard
“A true master of the form.” —Salman Rushdie
“A wonderful writer.” —Joyce Carol Oates
Top customer reviews
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She tells a series of nine stories about relationships between men and women, married or not. In the first story, from which the book takes its name, a woman enters into a correspondence with another man - or at least she thinks she does; in actuality the young girl whom she takes care of and the girl's friend have been intercepting the letters and forging love letters in return. As a result of the letters, the protagonist leaves the house she is working in to live with the man she thought she had been corresponding with. Yeah; imagine that for a moment.
Many of the men in the stories are hard bitten, small, mean, and abusive - either physically or emotionally. The women either make adjustments or break clean.
One of my favorite literature courses in college was Southern Short Stories; if you've never read "Why I Live at the P.O." by Eudora Welty, stop what your are doing and read it now. Pacing and details are much different from novels. Short stories start in medias res (in the midst of things) whereas novels are "ab ovo" (from the egg). These are long form short stories so we don't start smack down in the middle of everything but you do you have to spend some effort to pull pieces together. I'm so used to the novel form, that it took some getting used to. But It was definitely worth it.
I highly recommend Alice Munro - and this seems a great place to start.
I was disappointed by the form. I expected fireworks from a Nobel laureate. The style feels monotonous and the dynamics a bit repetitive. The characters are very similar from story to story and the text reads at times as a scientific paper. There is an anthropological approach to her writting. I guess she also writes with the nostalgia, and stoich and bitter resignation that comes with age. This is a bit distracting. She is still entertaining and ends up offering a progressive and optimistic, but maybe utopian recount.
Most recent customer reviews
She wraps us up in minutia and then abandons us - like a spent lover (sexual metaphor as this book is full of the...Read more
I didn't even want to finish it.