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Runaway Paperback – November 8, 2005
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“Alice Munro has a strong claim to being the best fiction writer now working in North America. Runaway is a marvel.” –Jonathan Franzen, The New York Times Book Review
“Runaway may very well be the synthesizing work of one of literature’s keenest investigators into the human soul.” –USA Today
“She outjoices Joyce and checkmates Chekhov. . . . Each of the stories in Runaway contains enough lived life to fill a typical novel. . . . Her women are heroic. . . . They endure in the mind of the reader.” –The Boston Globe
“As with so many of Munro’s stories, you read to have your premises altered and deepened. Could anything be better? . . . A beautiful new work.” –Los Angeles Times
“The great Alice Munro proves again why short-story writers bow down to her.” –Vanity Fair
“Runaway is a big dish of Beluga caviar, sailing in on a sparkling bed of ice, with a mother-of-pearl spoon. You remember: This is why you eat, read, make love, whatever–to be left silly with admiration and delight.” –The Washington Post
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
From the Inside Flap
""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. Howcan 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?
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Her stories written about women and men who live lives - like you and I - quietly going about their days, wondering if they missed out on that great big love, or that great big chance; arguing with their children, or their parents, or both; pretending that life is grand, pretending that life isn't pointless.
She writes lush, beautiful tales which are long and enjoyable to read. I'm reading her again, soon.
One of the reviewers seems to think that Munro is southern, which, of course, she is not.