Alice Munro (Early Canadian Poetry Series - Criticism & Biography)
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Alice Munro, recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, is undoubtedly among Canada’s greatest living writers. In this unique, intriguing collection, Brenda Pfaus gives fresh insights into some of Munro’s most enduring works: Lives of Girls and Women (1971), Who Do You Think You Are? (1978), Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You (1974), and The Moons of Jupiter (1982). This collection of essays reaches from the early years of Munro’s career through her prime as a writer, when she penned her most influential works.
mother, for men, for all is all . . . it’s all solidly autobiographical. I would not disclaim this at all.4 Munro’s story is told by Del who reflects back with the maturity of hindsight, on her growth from childhood to adolescence in the 1930s and 40s in Munro’s fictional town of Jubilee, the mythical setting of some of Munro’s stories in Dance of The Happy Shades and Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. There are fragments of high school trivia, visits with eccentric relatives, adolescent
viewed poverty and a poor rural background like “bad breath or running sores, an affliction for which the afflicted must bear one part of the blame.” Richard wanted her “amputated from that past which seemed to him such shabby baggage; he was on the lookout for signs that the amputation was not complete; and of course it wasn’t.” A visit by the effervescent cousin Iris with her bright lipstick, her bright teased hair, her iridescent dress and oversized brooch, her voice and conversation in favour
the field under which a hermit is preportedly buried on the old Fleming farm, the more mature narrator, seeks a connection with her father’s family. The farm house is now inhabited by a modern family with two young children and the land successfully farmed by a businessman who owns “a thousand acres in corn in Huron County alone.” The stone is not in the field; probably when the corn was put in the stone was in the way and hauled away. She realizes that if she had been younger she would have made
reminicent realism, the events and people of ordinary life around her in south western rural Ontario. Born in 1931, she was raised on a fox farm near Wingham. After spending nearly 20 years in Vancouver with her husband and family, she returned in 1972 to south western Ontario, and now lives with her family in Clinton, a small rural town near Wingham. She acknowledges that one of her strengths is that she is a regional writer, in that she is able to feel “the texture” of the area and understands
“like an animal” with his whiskey-drinking cat believing, “what an animal does by and large it makes sense.” When the narrator first encounters this man, she realizes What hit me did not feel like fear so much as recognition. I was not surprised. This is the sight that does not always surprise you, the thing you have always known was there that comes so naturally, moving delicately, and contentedly, . . . a hope of something final, terrifying. (Dance, p. 38) Contrasted with this naturalistic