In her lengthy and fascinating introduction Margaret Atwood says “Alice Munro is among the major writers of English fiction of our time. . . . Among writers themselves, her name is spoken in hushed tones.”
This splendid gift edition is sure to delight Alice Munro’s growing body of admirers, what Atwood calls her “devoted international readership.” Long-time fans of her stories will enjoy meeting old favourites, where their new setting in this book may reveal new sides to what once seemed a familiar story; devoted followers may even dispute the exclusion of a specially-beloved story. Readers lucky enough to have found her recently will be delighted, as one masterpiece succeeds another.
The 17 stories are carefully arranged in the order in which she wrote them, which allows us to follow the development of her range. “A Wilderness Station,” for example, breaks “short story rules” by taking us right back to the 1830s then jumping forward more than 100 years. “The Albanian Virgin” destroys the idea that her stories are set in B.C. or in Ontario’s “Alice Munro Country.” And “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” the story behind the film Away From Her, takes us far from the world of young girls learning about sex into unflinching old age.
This is a book to read slowly, savouring each story. It deserves a place in every Canadian book-lover’s library.
Born in Wingham, Ontario in 1931, Alice Munro has been hailed as a writer in the tradition of Chekhov. She has won many awards and prizes all over the English-speaking world. She and her husband divide their time between Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.
From reviews of The View From Castle Rock:
“Masterful. . .Munro really does know magic: how to summon the spirits and the emotions that animate our lives.” — Washington Post
“She proves herself once again one of those rare writers whose work changes the lives of her readers.” — Books in Canada
“The power of Munro’s storytelling never falters. . .This is a remarkable book.” — Sunday Telegraph
“The pre-eminent master of the short story. . .all delivered by her spare, wonderful prose.” — Independent on Sunday
“Thrilling. . .by the final page, the reader realizes that every word had been not only deliberate but essential.” — Newsday