Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Layers of Tissue"

"Alice Munro is so routinely called one of the greatest living short story writers that the accolade risks dulling the brilliance of her work, and certainly obscures its strangeness. While the typical setting of her stories is her native small-town southwestern Ontario – although numerous exceptions can be found among her 12 collections and one sort-of-novel – their content is anything but prosaic. Munro slices through domestic surfaces into the emotional and psychological turmoil beneath. As one of her narrators says of her hometown, 'People's lives in Jubilee, as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, unfathomable, deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.'

     Munro is, in Coral Ann Howells's description, an artist of indeterminacy, a trait on which she pins her inability to write novels. She explained to the Paris Review in 1994 that, 'I have all these disconnected realities in my own life, and I see them in other people's lives. That was one of the problems – why I couldn't write novels, I never saw things hanging together any too well.' She actively resists definite conclusions in her fiction, telling Brick in 1991 that 'I want the story to exist somewhere so that in a way it's still happening, or happening over and over again. I don't want it to be shut up in the book and put away – oh well, that's what happened.' "— Chris Power, Guardian
Buy Alice Munro books here...

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