Books

Dear Life

CHARACTER STUDY Munro's keen eye for detail allows him to paint perfect portraits of characters living in the shadow of WWII

CHARACTER STUDY Munro's keen eye for detail allows him to paint perfect portraits of characters living in the shadow of WWII

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Dear Life

Genre: Short Stories, Fiction; Author: Alice Munro; Publisher: Knopf

The characters in Munro’s absorbing new collection, Dear Life, still live in the shadow of WWII. Vivien goes to work at a rural hospital for tubercular kids and nearly marries the resident doctor. Jackson returns from battle and sets out on a peripatetic life as a general handyman. The cleft-lipped narrator of ”Pride” grows up in wartime and forges a platonic quasi-marriage with the daughter of a disgraced local banker. Most haunting of all are the four autobiographical sketches that end the book, which display Munro’s gift of observation and ability to trace big emotional arcs in short brushstrokes. A

Originally posted November 2 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT

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