Friday, May 23, 2014

Runaway - Alice Munro

The reason for my dissatisfaction with short stories is this : After I have finished one, I generally feel the need to close my book and mull it over for a while. I need to contemplate the ending and somewhat distance myself from the text. 

Problem is, this is just not very convenient when I am, say, commuting or waiting for something, and still have time on my hands. (I suppose some people can spend time quietly sitting down and just thinking; I'm just not one of them...)

What to do, though, when brilliant authors like Munro simply refuse to play by anyone else's rules but her own and persists in sticking to short stories? 
I comply, that's what I do.

Much has been said about Munro, and I side with most of it; her writing is thought-provoking and laden with meaning despite its apparent simplicity, like all skilled short-story writers.

Her subject-matter is slightly reminiscent of Nick Hornby's; little attention is paid to the setting, she focuses on the PEOPLE. The typical Munro-character, as pointed out by Jonathan Franzén in the foreword, is a bright, penniless young woman and her involvement with the people around her.
Now, I realize that might seem off-putting - especially considering the scandalously sloppy cover of this edition! - but I swear it's a lot more worthwhile than it sounds.

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