Alice Munro, who received the National Book Critics Circle Award for her latest collection of stories, The Love of a Good Woman, is widely acknowledged as a modern master of the short story. In this earlier collection, she demonstrates all of those strengths that have won her so many literary accolades.
A divorced woman returns to her childhood home where she confronts the memory of her parents' confounding yet deep bond. The accidental near-drowning of a child exposes the fragility of the trust between children and parents. A young man, remembering a terrifying childhood incident, wrestles with the responsibility he has always felt for his younger brother. In these and other stories Alice Munro proves once again a sensitive and compassionate chronicler of our times. Drawing us into the most intimate corners of ordinary lives, she reveals much about ourselves, our choices, and our experiences of love.
A prize-winning Canadian author, Munro has been praised for such works as The Moons of Jupiter ( LJ 5/15/83) and The Beggar Maid ( LJ 10/1/79). Her new collection of 11 stories thoughtfully explores the themes of self-knowledge and love. Families, friends, eccentrics, loversthe characters all bear the marks and burdens of unpredictable individualism and humanity. Girlish friendship and imaginings end in betrayal, estrangement, and self-revelation over the years in ``Jesse and Meribeth.'' A small-town nurse in ``Eskimo'' unveils layers of female obligation and the complexities of love when trying to befriend a young girl on a plane to Tahiti. ``A Queer Streak'' has about it the satisfying subtlety, wholeness, and horror of legend. An accomplished collection. Mary Soete, San Diego P.L., Cal.