The Love of a Good WomanPaperback Vintage Books
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- Publisher: VINTAGE
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 30mm | 259g
- Publication date: 2 March 2000
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0099287862
- ISBN 13: 9780099287865
- Sales rank: 40,077
Alice Munro has a genius for entering the lives of ordinary people and capturing the passions and contradictions that lie just below the surface. In this brilliant new collection she takes mainly the lives of women - unruly, ungovernable, unpredictable, unexpected, funny, sexy and completely recognisable - and brings their hidden desires bubbling to the surface. The love of a good woman is not as pure and virtuous as it seems: as in her title story it can be needy and murderous. Here are women behaving badly, leaving husbands and children, running off with unstuitable lovers, pushing everyday life to the limits, and if they don't behave badly, they think surprising and disturbing thoughts.
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Winner of the Man Booker International Prize for 2009, Alice Munro is the author of eleven collections of stories, most recently The View from Castle Rock, and a novel, Lives of Girls and Women. She has received many awards and prizes, including three of Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards and two Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, the W.H. Smith Book Award in the UK, the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for The Beggar Maid. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives with her husband in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron in Canada.
"Munro is at the height of her powers...a testimony to a great talent" Guardian "That Munro is a great writer of short stories should, by now, go without saying. She is also one of the two or three best writers of fiction (of any length) now alive. The title story of this collection is one of her masterpieces...a brilliant piece of story-telling, tautly-structured and exquisitely balanced" Sunday Times "A new collection of Alice Munro stories is a literary event that more and more of us look forward to, we are very unlikely to find a richer or rarer treat all year...the eight new stories in The Love of a Good Woman show this miraculous and truly great writer at the height of her powers...a perfect story collection" Scotland on Sunday "Alice Munro's stories...reward each pleasurable effort, as the best fiction always does...a Munro story has the depth and intricacy of a long novel, more than any other living writer in English...she can account for 20 years of a person's life in a single, telling paragraph, or even in a subtly placed phrase...The Love of a Good Woman is a superb, but unsettling, collection" Daily Telegraph "One of the finest short-story writers of our time...absorbing and brilliant" Observer
Three books are on my reading list for this summer. Alice Munro's The Love of a Good Woman, for the sheer joy of her insidiousness, and craft, Derek Walcott's What the Twilight Says, essays in the old fashioned sense of the word, that are great analysis and rather poetic at the same time. And Finding the Centre, by V S Naipaul. It's old and I have read it before but it's still so valuable for its encouragement to a writer. Review by SHANI MOOTOO, whose first novel Cereus Blooms at Night is published in paperback this month. (Kirkus UK)
In eight new stories, a master of the form extends and magnifies her great themes--the vagaries of love, the passion that leads down unexpected paths, the chaos hovering just under the surface of things, and the strange, often comical desires of the human heart. Time stretches out in some of the stories: a man and a woman look back forty years to the summer they met--the summer, as it turns out, that the true nature of their lives was revealed. In others time is telescoped: a young girl finds in the course of an evening that the mother she adores, and whose fluttery sexuality she hopes to emulate, will not sustain her--she must count on herself. Some choices are made--in a will, in a decision to leave home--with irrevocable and surprising consequences. At other times disaster is courted or barely skirted: when a mother has a startling dream about her baby; when a woman, driving her grandchildren to visit the lakeside haunts of her youth, starts a game that could have dangerous consequences. The rich layering that gives Alice Munro's work so strong a sense of life is particularly apparent in the title story, in which the death of a local optometrist brings an entire town into focus--from the preadolescent boys who find his body, to the man who probably killed him, to the woman who must decide what to do about what she might know. Large, moving, profound--these are stories that extend the limits of fiction.