Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alice Munro - Carried Away

"Carried Away is a dazzling selection of stories–seventeen favorites chosen by the author from across her distinguished career."

I have come to Alice Munro late, by way of the Julie Christie film Away From Her, which is based on a Munro story, and the crits for this book.
(BTW Away From Her can best be summed up as a late in life take on the Crosby, Stills and Nash song, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you will", beautifully pointed up by a Canadian landscape in winter )

I'm glad to have found Munro so late in life, as I suspect I wouldn't have been ready to absorb the full resonance of her writing at an earlier age.
At this stage in my life, having raised a child, weathered a long marriage, and seen both parents and a brother die I think I am more than ready to fully appreciate the depth of her writing.

And for part of my childhood I lived in a tiny isolated village, where my parents ran a pub, so I can identify with characters whose lives are lived under a parochial microscope, where conformity is all and life is often hard and short.

Munro is older than me, but I'm also old enough to know about women who have been torn between family and education. There is a telling line in one story where a father tells his daughter that she risks getting too clever for anybody to ever want her. This was, and still is, the experience of many women - my own mother was denied a place at art school by such family thinking.

I'm having to ration myself with this book, as I want to eat it all up in one sitting, but every page it is so beautifully written that it deserves to be read slowly and savoured.

Other than reading I'm busy in the two gardens at the moment, plus my husband has a rare week off so we are enjoying some long walks together.

So apologies for not getting round as many folk as I'd like to.
N looked up my blog recently and said I need to get out more - I don't really spend that much time on-line, but as the weather is fine and mild here just now I'm taking her at her word.

The photograph is a HDR shot from a walk late yesterday evening in Belhaven Bay. The bridge only functions when the tide is out - as a result pictures of it have featured in quite a few newpapers.


Blogger BarbaraS said...

A friend of mine has recommended her work to me - and now you. So, I must add this to my ever burgeoning to-be-read pile! Thanks for the reaction to her work, it's always interesting to look at how other people see a writer's work and what resonances they have.

12:55 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Dammit! Comment disappeared. I'm just coming to the end of my bed-time book so that sounds like a good replacement.
Enjoy the walking with your man- more important than visiting.

11:34 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Thanks for the spur to read Munro again - and to look up that film; sounds good.
That bridge is amazing!!!

1:58 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

Beautiful photo. The Alice Munro sounds very good.

I would have thought you were the last person needed telling to get out more!

3:23 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks re the photo =-I was shooting into the setting sun, but it paid off.

B I think you'll love Munro, I think that landscape shares much with the British Isles. There's one brilliant piece on a pair of sisters who belong to a Wee Free Sect called the Cameronians.

12:07 pm  

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