Book - 2004
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"In Alice Munro's new collection, we find stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this incomparable writer." "The runaway of the title story is a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband. In "Passion," a country girl emerging into the larger world via a job in a resort hotel discovers in a single moment of stunning insight the limits and lies of that mysterious emotion. Three stories are about a woman named Juliet - in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild and irresistible love match; in the second she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose life and marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her child, caught, she mistakenly thinks, in the grip of a religious cult, vanishes into an unexplained and profound silence. In the final story, "Powers," a young woman with the ability to read the future sets off a chain of events that involves her husband-to-be and a friend in a lifelong pursuit of what such a gift really means, and who really has it."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400042814
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jan 07, 2019

This is my favorite book of Munro's since "Something I've Been Meaning To Tell You" - there are many little conclusions and discoveries of an intimate sort, but no less profound for that. The last story in this set is a 50+ page novella. Several of the stories are linked by the same characters (Juliet, a Latin student who never finishes a phd thesis). My favorite stories of this set were the first two.

Aug 31, 2018

A great collection of beautifully written stories. Each story is engaging, moving with an unexpected ending.

Apr 30, 2017

These eight wonderful stories include three stories (Chance, Soon, Silence) on which Almodovar based his film, "Julieta".

Mar 26, 2017

The eight stories of Runaway are filled with literal runnings away from life situations as well as mind escapes. Munro creates authentic women, grounded in life that simmers below the surface, in real women’s circumstances. She hooks us with the barest of details and reels us in through chance meetings or mix-ups, always through a variation on sorrow, to a tender solace. Munro's stories likely appeal to the mature reader who has experienced some of life’s pain and passion.

Aug 26, 2015

Aug this one for the Chinook Arch Library System summer reading challenge. I needed a book that has won the Scotia Giller prize and this fit the bill. This is the first Alice Munro book that I have read, but it won't be the last!

Mar 24, 2015

Is Alice Munro, winner of three Governor General Awards, the Giller Prize, and numerous other Canadian and international literary awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature, beyond criticism?

I just finished Runaway, a collection of eight of her short stories. Actually, there are only five since a long one is broken into three segments. Why was this done? I have no idea.

The stories presented in this anthology are, without doubt, very compelling and the writing was flawless as you would imagine. The characterization is subtle but incredibly telling – you almost immediately know someone like the character, and more than often, you hate them.

However, I have trouble with the way Munro ends the majority of these stories.

Endings to short stories usually fall into one these four categories: denouement, realization, epiphany or the story ends itself.

In my mind the most satisfactory ending is when the story comes to its natural conclusion and the ending, though not necessarily anticipated, seems inevitable. Only two of the collection presented in Runaway ends this way.

The others all seem too coincidental, too serendipitous, too vague.

Two stories are ended by chance meetings many years after the main events of the plot have taken place and the characters, more or less, explain to the reader what actually happened.

I would have expected more from the literary icon.

In another, an insignificant and totally accidental event is the catalyst for a dramatic turn of events I just couldn’t imagine the characters undertaking. Yes, I went back and searched for the clues. Maybe a more astute reader would have found them, but I didn’t.

I understand literary short story endings can be more complex, that it’s not necessarily about tying up loose ends, but more about story’s the emotional and psychological impact, but given all that, another ending makes no sense whatsoever, emotionally or psychologically.

Should I be worried that my citizenship is about to be revoked, or worse, that some unseen force is about to smote me?

Sep 16, 2014

Seriously depressing view of life. Could not finish this book.

mytwin Dec 02, 2013

I own several of Alice's books and since her Nobel win,I have stared to re-read them.Always funny weird or funny ha-ha! (is that a S.W.Ontario expression?)
At any rate I thoroughly enjoy her short stories.

debwalker Oct 10, 2013

October 10, 2013: The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Canadian author Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story"!


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