Sunday, December 16, 2012

ARE YOU LISTENING? DEAR LIFE by ALICE MUNRO: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S"
ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY'S
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE....
GIVEAWAY ENDED
DEAR LIFE
STORIES
BY ALICE MUNRO
ABOUT THE AUDIO BOOK:
A brilliant new collection of stories from one of the most acclaimed and beloved writers of our time.
Alice Munro’s peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories is once again everywhere apparent in this brilliant new collection. In story after story, she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking. A poet, finding herself in alien territory at her first literary party, is rescued by a seasoned newspaper columnist, and is soon hurtling across the continent, young child in tow, toward a hoped-for but completely unplanned meeting. A young soldier, returning to his fiancĂ©e from the Second World War, steps off the train before his stop and onto the farm of another woman, beginning a life on the move. A wealthy young woman having an affair with the married lawyer hired by her father to handle his estate comes up with a surprising way to deal with the blackmailer who finds them out.   
         
While most of these stories take place in Munro’s home territory—the small Canadian towns around Lake Huron—the characters sometimes venture to the cities, and the audiobook ends with four pieces set in the area where she grew up, and in the time of her own childhood: stories “autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact.” A girl who can’t sleep imagines night after wakeful night that she kills her beloved younger sister. A mother snatches up her child and runs for dear life when a crazy woman comes into her yard.  
         
Suffused with Munro’s clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be. 
AN EXCERPT FROM DEAR LIFE:
Chapter 1To Reach Japan

Once Peter had brought her suitcase on board the train he seemed eager to get himself out of the way. But not to leave. He explained to her that he was just uneasy that the train should start to move. Out on the platform looking up at their window, he stood waving. Smiling, waving. The smile for Katy was wide open, sunny, without a doubt in the world, as if he believed that she would continue to be a marvel to him, and he to her, forever. The smile for his wife seemed hopeful and trusting, with some sort of determination about it. Something that could not easily be put into words and indeed might never be. If Greta had mentioned such a thing he would have said, Don’t be ridiculous. And she would have agreed with him, thinking that it was unnatural for people who saw each other daily, constantly, to have to go through explanations of any kind.
 
When Peter was a baby, his mother had carried him across some mountains whose name Greta kept forgetting, in order to get out of Soviet Czechoslovakia into Western Europe. There were other people of course. Peter’s father had intended to be with them but he had been sent to a sanatorium just before the date for the secret departure. He was to follow them when he could, but he died instead.
To finish reading this excerpt, visit the Random House Publishing website HERE. To listen to an excerpt, visit their website HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Now 81, Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published fourteen previous books — Dance of the Happy Shades; Lives of Girls and Women, Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You; Who Do You Think You Are?; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; Selected Stories; The Love of a Good Woman; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; The View from Castle Rock; and Alice Munro’s Best. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the recent Man Booker International Prize given to her in Dublin for “a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage.”

Here at home she has won too many awards to list, including three Governor General’s Literary Awards, two Giller Prizes, several Trillium Prizes and a number of Libris Awards. Elsewhere she has won the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England’s W. H. Smith Book Award, Italy’s Pescara prize, the United States’ National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Night, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.

Alice Munro divides her time between Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.
 
JUST A FEW OF ALICE MUNRO'S FABULOUS BOOKS:
                   

                   

                   
 
PRAISE FOR DEAR LIFE:
"It's no surprise that every story in the latest collection by Canada's Munro is rewarding and that the best are stunning. They leave the reader wondering how the writer manages to invoke the deepest, most difficult truths of human existence in the most plainspoken language. . . The author knows what matters, and the stories pay attention to it."Kirkus, starred review

"Unreserved praise for the continued wonderment provided by arguably the best short-story writer in English today. . . On whatever level of reader familiarity Munro is working, in every story she finds new ways to make the lives of ordinary people compelling."Booklist, starred review

"For the first time, Munro writes about her childhood, in the collection's final four pieces. . . These feature the precision of her fiction with the added interest of revealing the development of Munro's eye and her distance from her surroundings, both key, one suspects in making her the writer she is."PW, boxed, starred review

"With her penetrating new collection, Alice Munro demonstrates once again why she deserves her reputation as a master of short fiction. . . "This is not a story, only life," declares the protagonist of the title narrative. With the subtlety and complexity of Munro's writing, it's hard to tell the difference."—Pamela Newtown, O Magazine
MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
DEAR LIFE by Alice Munro. Oh, my! I find it hard to “review” the work of such an accomplished author. I can only give you my impression and how these short stories made me feel. In DEAR LIFE, Alice Munro has written a convincing mixture of delightful, intuitive tales that are sheer magic to read. Set in various time periods from World War II and beyond, each character is dealing with some major life changing issue. The stories have woman who are overwhelmed, and struggling to find their way. Although each “battle” is different, the results are in many ways often the same.

I believe that in Munro’s strong female characters, one can find parts of themselves…or at least parts of someone you at least have known. It is this aspect that fascinates and brings the reader completely into the story. Sadly in many cases, no matter how hard the women try, the conclusion has been predetermined and regardless of what they do, their fate has already been sealed. 
With Alice Munro’s rare and exquisite talent, in DEAR LIFE she has given us stories that each reader can interpret for themselves based on what they have read. The conclusion one comes to is solely based on one’s own sensitivity and perception. DEAR LIFE again makes me ask myself why I don’t seek out more short stories to read.  I can only conclude that Alice Munro makes it a hard act to follow!
GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO RICHARD AND THE GOOD FOLKS

 AT RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO BOOKS,  
I HAVE ONE AUDIO BOOK TO GIVE
 AWAY TO A LUCKY FOLLOWER
   
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE IN
ORDER TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
 
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT DEAR LIFE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU CAN COMMENT ON EACH ON SEPARATELY AND GAIN MORE ENTRIES THAT WAY 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
 6 PM, EST, DECEMBER 30
GOOD LUCK!

43 comments:

debbie said...

These all sound like unique and interesting stories. I would love to read more about how the young woman dealt with her blackmailer.
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Carol N Wong said...

Sounds like some of the stories are complex and leave you wondering like life. I have never read or listened to anything by the author so I am curious about the short stories.

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Patricia said...

I love the idea that she's using her childhood as the basis of these stories.
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lag123 said...

This is a new author for me. I would love to listen to these interesting stories.

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traveler said...

Dear Life sounds fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

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petite said...

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Sue Farrell said...

Sometimes a short story is just the right length when you are too busy to handle an entire book. I've not read this author before---so short stories would be a good way to start.
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