The Resource Runaway : stories
- Runaway : stories
- Title remainder
- Statement of responsibility
- Alice Munro
- Title variation
- A collection of short fiction captures the lives of women of all ages and circumstances, as they deal with the limits and lies of passion, unfulfilled dreams, motherhood, betrayal, and the bonds of love
- ALA Notable Book, 2005.
- Booklist Editors' Choice, 2004.
- Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Caribbean and Canada: Best Book, 2005.
- Giller Prize, 2004.
- New York Times Notable Book, 2004
- Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, 2004.
- /*Starred Review*/ The CIP subject heading assigned to this collection of stories is ”Women--Fiction.” Accurate, yes, and helpful to librarians, of course, but at the same time so reductive, for although Canadian Munro does indeed write about women, her sheer perception and eloquence make her one of the foremost contemporary practitioners of the short story in English. And her status only gains more secure footing with the appearance of these eight new pieces. Munro’s stories range “long”--that is, in the 30- to 40-page category. Their planned cohesion and intended restriction of focus actually mean that Munro has invented her own “genre” of short fiction: not undeveloped novels or even unfledged novellas but, rather, true short stories offering a widening and deepening of exploration that shorter pages don’t allow. The title story ranks among Munro’s best: a showcase of her own approach to “Women--Fiction.” A young woman is encouraged by a neighbor to leave her husband, whom she believes is causing her mental distress, but upon discovering that running away really means just being lost, she returns home. And a cycle of three stories featuring the same character at three important junctures in her life is faultless in its clear-cut delineation of the arc of love, loss, and disconnection the woman’s family relations have come to represent. Munro is remarkable for the ease and completeness with which she brings the world of a character into the frame, and her characteristic and greatly effective looping through time--not just connecting present and past but also indicating the future--is haunting. All this in a lovely, precise style. -- Brad Hooper (BookList, 09-15-2004, p180)
- /* Starred Review */ Nothing is new in Munro's latest collection, which is to say that the author continues to perfect her virtuosic formula in these eight short stories, several of which previously appeared in the New Yorker . While her style typifies the traditionally realistic, often domestic genre of that magazine, Munro's stories are also global, bighearted and warm. In the title story, a housekeeper tries to leave her emotionally abusive husband, entangling her employer in the process. Three interconnected stories—"Chance," "Soon" and "Silence"—follow a schoolteacher as she falls for an older man, returns as a young mother to visit her ailing parents on their farm and much later tries to "rescue" her daughter from a religious cult. In "Tricks," a lonely nurse on a day trip encounters a man from Montenegro and vows to return to his clock shop one year later to resume their affair. In deliberate prose, Munro captures their fleeting moment of passion on a train platform: "This talk felt more and more like an agreed-upon subterfuge, like a conventional screen for what was becoming more inevitable all the time, more necessary, between them." Munro's characters are hopeful and proud as they face both the betrayals and gestures of kindness that animate their relationships. One never knows quite where a Munro story will end, only that it will leave an incandescent trail of psychological insight. Agent, William Morris. 100,000 first printing. (Nov. 14) --Staff (Reviewed October 11, 2004) (Publishers Weekly, vol 251, issue 41, p53)
- Munro's new story collection will delight fans and convert those who have never before read her work. Her spare style belies the psychological depth of the stories, which feature characters running away from someone or something (often representative of the past) or telling a lie by commission or omission (another form of running away). After opening with a vignette, Munro reveals what has led to or what flows from that moment. The protagonists look for, find, and lose love. Three stories trace Juliet's life from meeting her husband to separating from her adult daughter. "Trepasses" has a creepy beginning (Is Delphine really a family member?), which contributes to the impact of the ending. "Powers," a novella in four sections, begins with Nancy's diary, which is as funny as the story "How I Met My Husband." But the tone changes: at the end, an aged Nancy realizes that she cannot, even by psychic power, run away from or remake the past. Recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/04.]—Elaine Bender, El Camino Coll., Torrance, CA --Elaine Bender (Reviewed September 15, 2004) (Library Journal, vol 129, issue 15, p53)
- /* Starred Review */ Retrospect and resolution, neither fully comprehended nor ultimately satisfying: such are the territories the masterful Munro explores in her tenth collection.Each of its eight long tales in the Canadian author's latest gathering (after Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, 2001, etc.) bears a one-word title, and all together embrace a multiplicity of reactions to the facts of aging, changing, remembering, regretting, and confronting one's mortality. Three pieces focus on Juliet Henderson, a student and sometime teacher of classical culture, who waits years (in "Chance") before rediscovering romantic happiness with the middle-aged man with whom she had shared an unusual experience during a long train journey. In "Soon," Juliet and her baby daughter Penelope visit Juliet's aging parents, and she learns how her unconventional life has impacted on theirs. Then, in "Silence," a much older Juliet comes sorrowfully to terms with the emptiness in her that had forever alienated Penelope, "now living the life of a prosperous, practical matron" in a world far from her mother's. Generational and familial incompatibility also figure crucially in "Passion," the story (somewhat initially reminiscent of Forster's Howards End) of a rural girl's transformative relationship with her boyfriend's cultured, "perfect" family—and her realization that their imperfections adumbrate her own compromised future. Further complexities—and borderline believable coincidences and recognitions—make mixed successes of "Trespasses," in which a young girl's unease about her impulsive parents is shown to stem from a secret long kept from her, and "Tricks," an excruciatingly sad account of a lonely girl's happenstance relationship with the immigrant clockmaker she meets while attending a Shakespeare festival, the promise she tries and helplessly fails to keep, and the damaging misunderstanding that, she ruefully reasons, "Shakespeare should have prepared her." Then there are the masterpieces: the title story's wrenching portrayal of an emotionally abused young wife's inability to leave her laconic husband; and the brilliant novella "Powers," which spans years and lives, a truncated female friendship that might have offered sustenance and salvation, and contains acute, revelatory discriminations between how women and men experience and perceive "reality."In a word: magnificent. (Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2004)
- Awards note
- Nobel Prize in Literature, 2013
- Cataloging source
- Dewey number
- no index present
- Literary form
- short stories
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