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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

Penguin Modern Classics Dance of the Happy Shades

by (author) Alice Munro

foreword by Annie Proulx

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2005
Short Stories (single author), Literary, Small Town & Rural
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2005
    List Price

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In the stories that make up Dance of the Happy Shades, the deceptive calm of small-town life is brought memorably to the page, revealing the countryside of Southwestern Ontario to be home to as many small sufferings and unanticipated emotions as any place. This is the book that earned Alice Munro a devoted readership and established her as one of Canada's most beloved writers.

Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction, Dance of the Happy Shades is Alice Munro's first short story collection.

About the authors

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published ten previous books-Dance of the Happy Shades; Lives Of Girls And Women; Something I've Been Meaning To Tell You; Who Do You Think You Are?; The Moons Of Jupiter; The Progress Of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; The Love of a Good Woman; and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage-as well as Selected Stories, an anthology of stories culled from her dazzling body of work.

During her distinguished career, Munro has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the W.H. Smith Award in the United Kingdom and, in the United States, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the Lannan Literary Award, and the Rea Award for the Short Story.

In Canada, her prize-winning record is so extraordinary-three Governor General's Awards, two Giller Prizes (one of which was for Runaway), the Trillium Book Award, the Jubilee Prize, and the Libris Award, among many others-that it has been ironically suggested that as such a perennial winner, she no longer qualifies for new prizes. Abroad, acclaim continues to pour in. Both Runaway and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Book Award, Caribbean and Canada region, and were chosen as one of the Books of the Year by The New York Times.

Alice Munro's stories appear regularly in The New Yorker, as well as in The Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Night, and The Paris Review. She and her husband divide their time between Clinton (in “Alice Munro country”), Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.

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Alice Munro's profile page

Annie Proulx's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Dance of the Happy Shades and Alice Munro:

"From story to story, one feels a sustained longing for independence. The desire to speak up—the aching need to call out personal or social injustice—struggles against the heavy weight of collective standards. . . . Dance of the Happy Shades . . . establish[es] Munro as the great writer she was destined to become." —The Atlantic

"[Munro's] girls and women are wholly modern. They are passionate, jealous, clever and ambitious, oppressed by what is expected of them, and what is denied." —The Guardian
"The finest writer of short stories working in the English language today." —The Times

"[Munro] is, and has been for decades, one of our most important writers, one whose work represents all the most essential and pleasurable aspects of literature, and which reminds us of what great literature is." The Globe and Mail

“She knows us better than we know ourselves. She always has.” ―The Washington Times
“Reading Munro's cut-crystal prose is unadulterated pleasure.” ―Daily Telegraph

"A remarkable writer whose major characters emerge in shining clarity. . . . A major talent is at work here." —Los Angeles Times
"[Munro's stories] amount to nothing less than the portrait of a generation . . . a generation of women through whom the great turn of our times first quickened into life." —The New York Times

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