Thacker's collection of essays on the work of Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro will be useful not only to students of Munro's work but also to creative writing students who want to crawl around in the rafters of story making to understand how the architect drew the plans, and to know the builder who constructed them. Munro's stories are inhabitable constructions, pieces of life recognizable as something that could so easily have been one's own. The story pulls the reader in, and on looking back one sees the deeper cord of meaning that was lying beneath the surface. Munro's stories seem so simple, like a story anyone could tell, but they are well built, as this collection reveals. One finds in Munro's stories moral debts that must be paid. The essays in this collection offer ways to get into the stories, collect the things one came for, and get out surprised by the unknowable truths now lying in plain sight. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. CHOICE
The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to the Canadian writer Alice Munro in 2013 confirmed her position as a master of the short story form. This book explores Munro's work from a full range of critical perspectives, focussing on three of her most popular and important published collections: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001), Runaway (2004), and her final collection Dear Life (2012). With chapters written by the world's leading critics of Munro's work, the short story form and contemporary Canadian writing, this book explores such themes as love and marriage, sex, fate, gender and humor in her writings as well as her approaches to narrative form and autobiography. In these three late collections Munro sharply articulates, again and again, the mysteries of being itself.