Sunday, October 30, 2011

Apologies to Alice Munro

I mentioned in my last post that I didn't appreciate fiction that describes the pain of human lives but doesn't offer redemption. That was in response to a couple of the early stories in Alice Munro's 2009 collection, Too Much Happiness, where some pretty dreadful things happened, and people mostly endure. But in other stories, people respond courageously, or quixotically, or stoically, or intelligently to events, which can be horrific or mundane - or really surprising. The stories deftly sketch whole lives, where a childhood mishap can be revealed in much later life to have been the pivot around which the life turned. The title story is a fictional treatment of a Russian woman in the late 1800s who was both a mathematician and novelist, Sophia Kovalevsky, which I enjoyed very much.

A rich collection, and worth reading. So, apologies to Alice Munro for my first impressions.

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