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Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Orientalism
Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce

Alice Munro- Dear Life

Dear Life - Alice Munro

I’m always careful not to fall victim to popular opinion when reading any book, especially one by such an acclaimed and beloved writer as Alice Munro. I tried to forget the fact that Munro had only recently won the Nobel prize for fiction. This is only my second Munro so maybe I’m not the best judge of her work but I did find this collection very enjoyable.

I find that with Munro it’s the little details. Her stories are everyday stories of everyday people living mainly in small-town Canada, people we probably don’t expect to read about in books. Whether she is exploring the thoughts of a little child, an inexperienced university graduate, or an unsatisfied housewife, she does so expertly. I found myself engaged by the stories, stories that I found to be very believable, as well as very sad in most cases. I also enjoyed her stories set in post-war Canada, a very different Canada from the one I live in now.

Munro definitely writes with much clarity. People often comment on her well-crafted sentences and I won’t argue with that. What I love most of all is her insight into human relationships.
I enjoyed the last few stories that were supposedly autobiographical. Very nostalgic. It’s very fitting that this book is called “Dear Life.”

I felt quite sad when I turned the last page knowing this is supposedly the last book she will ever write.


“So still, so immense an enchantment.”

— Alice Munro, Dear Life