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Monday, December 10, 2012


In Franzen's book of essays, Farther Away, he writes an essay on the brilliance of Alice Munro as a short story author.  So what do I do?  Check out a book of her short stories, Runaway, from the library as quick as possible.  Duh.

I can't do justice to Munro's stories so you will just have to pick the book up yourself if you want to know what they are about in detail.  They are about love lost and found and then lost again; they are about family real and imagined; they are about life as it comes and goes in the blink of an eye.  They are about life in full effect.

Muno has this way of telling story that gets you engrossed and deep into the psyche of her characters before she cuts you off and makes you think.  She is not a writer who wraps her stories up in neat little packages covered in pretty glossy paper with tight little bows; she wants to leave you hung out to dry and devastated and wondering how you just got sucker punched when you were paying so much attention.  Of course, I don't know Munro personally so I can't say for sure that this is what she desires; this is only what I took from this lovely and incredibly powerful book of short stories.

I love a book that leaves me wanting to crawl back inside of it to find the characters and ask them why, or how, what made them do what they did.  So thank you, Alice Munro, for giving me the gift of your writing.

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