Fiction Alice Munro The Love of a Good Woman

ISBN 13: 9780099287865

The Love of a Good Woman

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9780099287865: The Love of a Good Woman

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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Review:

In the world of Alice Munro, the best route is not necessarily the shortest distance between two points. In her ninth superlative collection of short fiction, The Love of a Good Woman, the setting is once again western Canada, and the subject matter is classic Munro: secrets, love, betrayal, and the stuff of ordinary lives. But as is usual for this master of the short form, the path she takes is anything but ordinary. The stunning title story is a case in point. A narrative in four parts, it begins with the drowning of a small-town optometrist and ripples outward, touching first the boys who find the body, then a spiteful dying woman and her young practical nurse. Whose tale is this, anyway? Not the optometrist's, surely, though his death holds it together. The effect is not exactly Rashomon-like either, though each of the sections views him through a different eye. Instead, "The Love of a Good Woman" is as thorough and inclusive a portrait of small-town life as can be imagined--its tensions and its deceit, its involuntary bonds. Within its 75 pages it encompasses a world more capacious than that of most novels.

As always, Munro's prose is both simple and moving, as when the letter-writing protagonist of "Before the Change" sends her love to an ex-fiancÚ:

What if people really did that--sent their love through the mail to get rid of it? What would it be that they sent? A box of chocolates with centers like the yolks of turkey's eggs. A mud doll with hollow eye sockets. A heap of roses slightly more fragrant than rotten. A package wrapped in bloody newspaper that nobody would want to open.
The fictions in this volume burn with a kind of dry-eyed anti-romanticism--even the ones whose plots verge on domestic melodrama (a baby's near-death in "My Mother's Dream"; an adulterous wife in "The Children Stay"). Densely populated, elliptical in construction, each story circles around its principal events and relationships like planets around a sun. The result is layered and complex, its patterns not always apparent on first reading: in other words, something like life. --Mary Park

From the Publisher:

Superb...Long ago, Virginia Woolf described George Eliot as one of the few writers 'for grown-up people.' The same might today, and with equal justice, be said of Alice Munro.--Michael Gorra, New York Times Book Review

A writer for the ages--Dan Cryer, Newsday

Alice Munro is indisputably a master. Like all great writers, she helps sharpen perception...Her imagination is fearless...A better book of stories can scarcely be imagined.--Greg Varner, Washington Post Book World

A riveting collection...a lovely book. Munro's stories move through the years with a sneaky grace.--Georgia Jones-Davis, San Francisco Chronicle

A triumph...certain to seal her reputation as our contemporary Chekhov--Carol Shields, Mirabella

Superlative...She distills a novel's worth of dramatic events into a story of 20 pages.--Erik Huber, Time OutM

These astonishing stories remind us, yet again, of the literary miracles Alice Munro continues to perform.--Francine Prose, Elle

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 14th print. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099287865

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 14th print. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099287865

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2000. Paperback. The author has a genius for entering the lives of ordinary people and capturing the passions and contradictions that lie just below the surface. This title takes mainly the lives of women - unruly, ungovernable, unpredictable, unexpected, funny, sexy and completely recognisable - and brings their hidden desires bubbling to the surface. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FYB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 132 x 22. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099287865

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Book Description Vintage, 2000. Book Condition: New. 2000. Paperback. The author has a genius for entering the lives of ordinary people and capturing the passions and contradictions that lie just below the surface. This title takes mainly the lives of women - unruly, ungovernable, unpredictable, unexpected, funny, sexy and completely recognisable - and brings their hidden desires bubbling to the surface. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FYB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 132 x 22. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099287865

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Love of a Good Woman, Alice Munro, 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. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099287865

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