Friday, August 13, 2010

Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage by Alice Munro (2001)

Normally I am not a big fan of short stories...just as you are getting involved with the characters and the plot, there's a sudden twist and it's over! But there is one big exception for me and that would be the short story collections by Alice Munro, which are fantastic. Each story is like a perfect gem, or a spectacularly decorated tiny cupcake, to be savored. It is true what the blurbs on the back of her books say, she does manage to encapsule the depth and scope of a novel in each of her short stories. It is mastery, pure and simple - to die for.

I first read Munro's work a few years ago when her book, The View from Castle Rock came out. At the time I was very busy with genealogy and was intrigued by the idea of writing based on the history of one's ancestors, which she did in the short stories in this book. It's a great book that moves along gradually and bumpily through the lives of various immigrants, recent arrivals and longtime residents of Ontario, Canada, where she is from.
I recently picked up two of her short story books at my library. This particular volume, with the wonderful title Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage, did not disappoint. The nine stories vibrate with detail and meaning, and let us be observers of all sorts of intimate relationships, personal struggles, the pain we cause and the sacrifices we make. Highly recommended!


Charley said...

The only story I've read from this collection is The Bear Came Over the Mountain, which I liked. Have you seen the movie Away From Her?

Amy said...

No - I'm not real up on movies! I'll have to look for it!