Dear Life, by Alice Munro

by Jessica Anderson on February 28, 2013

in Fiction, Reviews

Dear Life

Title: Dear Life: Stories
Author: Alice Munro
Pages: 319
Originally Published: 2012
Format I Read: Hardback
Publisher: Knopf
Rating: [rating:4]


Another one down for the Tournament of Books. This was my first experience with an Alice Munro collection, but it will not be my last. Each story was engrossing and human and surprising. The writing is, as you already know or might suspect, flawless.

This collection is divided into two parts. The first part consists of nine short stories: “To Reach Japan,” “Amundsen,” “Leaving Maverley,” “Gravel,” “Pride,” “Corrie,” “Train,” “In Sight of the Lake,” and “Dolly.” To me, all of these stories deal with movement or the lack thereof. These characters are all regular people facing regular problems. But Munro manages to capture a moment or a story from each of lives characters lives and brings it to life so you can’t look away.

The last part of the book begins with this introduction:

The final four works in this book are not quite stories. They form a separate unit, one that is autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact. I believe they are the first and last — and the closest — things I have to say about my own life.

These four stories were titled “The Eye,” “Night,” “Voices,” and “Dear Life.” Each story tells about a little piece of Munro’s life growing up. As autobiographical tales, the stories in this section were a little more disjointed for me, individually. But after reading them all, I couldn’t help but hope that Munro might write more about her life.

In all, I found each story in this collection quite enthralling. I was also brought into the world of each story, gently at first and then with a firm insistence that I stay.

Dear Life, by Alice Munro [rating:4]

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

bermudaonion(Kathy) February 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

It’s been years since I’ve read her work but I think she’s an outstanding author.


Jessica March 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I would have to agree. :)


Jenny March 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Once in a while I find a book of short stories that’s very good. This one sounds like it’s one of those books.


Jessica March 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

It was for me. I’ve been having good luck with short story collections lately. The other one I read recently, ASTRAY, was also excellent.


Care March 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

Sounds good. I don’t think I’ve ever read any Munro.


Jessica March 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

This is my first experience with Munro, but I will definitely be checking out some of her other collections!


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