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The Resource The love of a good woman, stories by Alice Munro

The love of a good woman, stories by Alice Munro

Label
The love of a good woman
Title
The love of a good woman
Statement of responsibility
stories by Alice Munro
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • CBA Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, 1999.
  • Giller Prize, 1998.
  • National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, 1998.
  • Trillium Book Award, 1998.
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ To read Munro's stories is to enter dense woods at the height of summer, so rich are they in spiky detail, shifting patterns of light and shadow, rustlings of unseen beings, and fecund smells, but the path is easily found, and it leads to wondrous sights and surprising disclosures. It is a tribute to Munro's virtuosity and vitality that a collection of stories as rich, varied, and substantial as this one has appeared so soon after publication of her capacious Selected Stories (1996). Here, as is her wont, Munro packs each paragraph with a wealth of significant details, articulates the thoughts of a wide array of curious characters, and captures the mixed signals embedded in exchanges between women friends, husbands and wives, or children and parents. In the riveting title story, a timeless tale set in Munro-country, that is, a small town along the Canada shore of Lake Huron, Munro tells a complex story about three boys who discover a drowned optometrist and the nurse who cares for the woman who inadvertently caused his death. In "Jakarta," a woman who has dutifully married and had her first child finds herself attracted to and upset by an American acquaintance whose life seems much freer and more passionate. Each story has a distinct mood and movement as Munro roams across the Canadian and American border over the course of the last few decades, discerning exactly what is most poignant about each place, each time frame, and each heart. ((Reviewed September 1, 1998)) -- Donna Seaman
  • Again mining the silences and dark discretions of provincial Canadian life, Munro shines in her ninth collection, peopled with characters whose sin is the original one: to have eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The good woman of the title story--a practical nurse who has already sacrificed her happiness to keep a deathbed promise--must choose whether to believe another moribund patient's confession or to ignore it and seize a second chance at the life she has missed. The drama of deathbed revelation is acted out, again, between a dying man and the woman at his bedside in "Cortes Island," when a stroke victim exposes his deepest secret to his part-time caretaker, in what may be the last act of intimacy left to him, and in the process puts his finger on the fault lines in her marriage. In the extraordinary "Before the Change," a young woman confronts her father with the open secret of his life and reveals the hidden facts of hers; she is unprepared, however, for the final irony of his legacy. The powerful closing story, "My Mother's Dream," is about a secret in the making, showing how a young mother almost kills her baby and how that near fatality, revealed at last to the daughter when she is 50, binds mother and daughter. Compressing the arc of a novella, Munro's long, spare stories--there are eight here-- span decades and lay bare not only the strata of the solitary life but also the seamless connections and shared guilt that bind together even the loneliest of individuals. First serial to the New Yorker. (Nov.) FYI: Four of Munro's previous collections are available in Vintage paperback.
  • In the title story, set in the early spring of 1951, three young boys on a lark make a grim discovery--the drowned body of the town optometrist. Their secret knowledge gives them a sense of purpose and self-importance. But this secret pales beside the darker one that emerges late in the story of how the man came to die. In "Before the Change," a woman recovering from the breakup of her engagement to a theology student is filled with conflicting emotions on a visit home with her father, the town abortionist. In the closing story, "My Mother's Dream," the pregnant widow of a World War II pilot is left to cope with his dotty family. In their home on her own with an irritable baby on an impossibly hot, pre-air-conditioning day, she is forced to close all the windows lest the neighbors assume she is an unfit mother. Munro's stories are always afforded the luxury of space and the weight of detail. Like carefully preserved home movies, they capture moments of the past that are at once intensely recognizable and profoundly revealing. These exquisite stories, some never before published, are highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/98.]--Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Kingston, Ont.
  • The Canadian Chekhov's ninth book (after her recent triumphs Friend of My Youth, 1990, and Open Secrets, 1994) contains eight long stories that resemble Munro's mature work in their tendency toward leisurely development and complex narrative. As always, their province is both the author's native Ontario and the experiential territory denoted by the title of an earlier volume, Lives of Girls and Women (1973). The inchoate understanding possessed by husbands and wives whose intimacies never fully accommodate their unshared histories, siblings who have inevitably endured (or imagined) imbalance and unfairness, parents and children unhinged by the emotional variations to which their one flesh is susceptible--all are central to these elaborately woven tales of people's disillusioning plunges into the depths of their own and others' lives. But this time around the stories seem overloaded, distended by successive disclosures that move us unconvincingly away from their thematic and structural centers. In "Save the Reaper," for instance, essential details about its characters' relationships are withheld for so long that we never empathize sufficiently with the harried, lonely grandmother whose momentary impulsiveness endangers her family and herself. "My Mother's Dream" reimagines from a daughter's perspective--and in almost ludicrously melodramatic terms--her mother's ordeal among her late husband's controlling family. "The Children stay" overemphatically delineates the moral unraveling of an adulterous wife who unwisely makes "the choice of fantasy." To be fair, a few of the stories are, even by Munro's high standards, exemplary: notably "Cortes Island," in which a bored housewife's vivid imagination may or may not have exaggerated incriminating facts about her odd landlords; and especially the fine title novella, about the death of a small-town optometrist, the extremities to which well-meaning ordinary people are driven, and the burden helplessly shouldered by a "practical nurse" (there's a lovely irony therein) caught between "Trying to ease people. Trying to be good" and telling what she wishes not to know. A mixed bag, then, through which we too often sense Munro straining to extend and intensify her stories. The unfortunate result is her weakest book yet. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1998)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
005402
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1931-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Munro, Alice
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Women
  • Canada
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
stories
Label
The love of a good woman, stories by Alice Munro
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The love of a good woman -- Jakarta -- Cortes Island -- Save the reaper -- The children stay -- Rich as stink -- Before the change -- My mother's dream
Control code
331465
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
339 pages
Isbn
9780375403958
Lccn
98036721
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780375403958
  • (Sirsi) ABR-7567
Label
The love of a good woman, stories by Alice Munro
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The love of a good woman -- Jakarta -- Cortes Island -- Save the reaper -- The children stay -- Rich as stink -- Before the change -- My mother's dream
Control code
331465
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
339 pages
Isbn
9780375403958
Lccn
98036721
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780375403958
  • (Sirsi) ABR-7567

Library Locations

    • Terrazas BranchBorrow it
      1105 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2599154 -97.7334621
    • Willie Mae Kirk BranchBorrow it
      3101 Oak Springs Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.2729762 -97.699748
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