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Too Much Happiness
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A brilliant, compelling new collection from one of the world's greatest living short-story writers, and winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2009.

About the Author

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize for 2009, Alice Munro is the author of eleven collections of stories, most recently The View from Castle Rock, and a novel, Lives of Girls and Women. She has received many awards and prizes, including three of Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards and two Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, the W.H. Smith Book Award in the UK, the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for The Beggar Maid. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives with her husband in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron in Canada.

Reviews

Munro's latest collection is satisfyingly true to form and demonstrates why she continues to garner laurels (such as this year's Man Booker International Prize). Through carefully crafted situations, Munro breathes arresting life into her characters, their relationships and their traumas. In "Wenlock Edge," a college student in London, Ontario, acquires a curious roommate in Nina, who tricks the narrator into a revealing dinner date with Nina's paramour, the significantly older Mr. Purvis. "Child's Play," a dark story about children's capacity for cruelty and the longevity of their secrets, introduces two summer camp friends, Marlene and Charlene, who form a pact against the slightly disturbing Verna, whose family used to share Marlene's duplex. The title, and final, story, the collection's longest and most ambitious, takes the reader to 19th-century Europe to meet Sophia Kovalevski, a talented mathematician and novelist who grapples with the politics of the age and the consequences of success. While this story lacks some of the effortlessness found in Munro's finest work, the collection delivers what she's renowned for: poignancy, flesh and blood characters and a style nothing short of elegant. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

In this riveting new collection, Munro probes loss, loneliness, regret, separation, and death in her typically brilliant fashion, portraying ordinary men and women seeking to find the clues that will help them toward wholeness or, at the very least, an acceptance of a broken life. In "Deep-Holes," a defeated mother who has finally tracked down a prodigal son realizes that in the end we're "marooned on islands of our own choosing, clear sighted, content." In "Dimensions," a Medea story in reverse, Doree tries to move beyond the loss of her children by visiting their father and murderer, Lloyd, in a mental hospital. The visit brings her no peace, but a jarring event on her bus trip back home brings an unexpected resolution. In the title story, based on the life of Russian mathematician and novelist Sophie Kovalevsky, the widow Sophie comes to realize the precarious and fleeting nature of happiness even as she embraces the fullness of life. Verdict Much like her fellow Canadian writer David Adams Richards, Munro captures the intimate lives of her characters as they seek solace amid disruption. Fans of the prize-winning Munro will eagerly devour her latest. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/09.]-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Evanston, IL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"She writes with a beautiful clarity, an elemental humanity and a marvellous, limpid, funny, apprehension of what goes on" -- Jane Shilling * Sunday Telegraph * "Some of the most honest, intuitive and exacting fiction, long or short, of our time" -- Tom Gatti * The Times * "Munro's bold, unflinching narratives have taken the short story places many a novelist has feared to tread... That she does this in a style both calm and deliberate, fluid yet tightly controlled, stark yet compassionate, is what makes her insights into the human condition so profound" -- Mary Crockett * Scotsman * "Written with veteran assurance, brimming with intensely believable characters and rich social detail, these dispatches from the most unsparing reaches of Munro's imagination confirm her acclaimed place on the highest ground of contemporary fiction" -- Peter Kemp * Sunday Times * "Alice Munro commands enormous respect and almost uncritical adoration from her readers" -- Elaine Showalter * Literary Review *

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