!Book ♥ Runaway ♹ The Incomparable Alice Munro S Bestselling And Rapturously Acclaimed Runaway Is A Book Of Extraordinary Stories About Love And Its Infinite Betrayals And Surprises, From The Title Story About A Young Woman Who, Though She Thinks She Wants To, Is Incapable Of Leaving Her Husband, To Three Stories About A Woman Named Juliet And The Emotions That Complicate The Luster Of Her Intimate Relationships In Munro S Hands, The People She Writes About Women Of All Ages And Circumstances, And Their Friends, Lovers, Parents, And Children Become As Vivid As Our Own Neighbors It Is Her Miraculous Gift To Make These Stories As Real And Unforgettable As Our Own Back Cover RunawayChanceSoonSilencePassionTrespassesTricks
Runaway Stories, Alice MunroRunaway is a book of short stories by Alice Munro First published in 2004 by McClelland and Stewart, it was awarded that year s Giller Prize and Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize.There are eight short stories in the book Three of the stories Chance , Soon , and Silence are about a single character named Juliet Henderson Runaway a woman is trapped in a bad marriage Chance Juliet takes a train trip which leads to an affair Soon Juliet visits her parents with her child Penelope Silence Juliet hopes for news from her adult estranged daughter Penelope Passion A lonely small town girl flees a passionless relationship with an outsider Trespasses Lauren, a young girl, meets an older woman, Delphine, who is too interested in her Tricks Robin, a lonely girl, lives life alone due to bad luck and misinterpretation Powers, the eighth and final story in the collection, is divided into five parts 2011 1385 192 9643692930 21 1389 394 2004 Escapada es un libro maravilloso de una autora maravillosa, y con este galard n que le otorgo son ya tres los premios que este libro de cuentos acumula tras haber recibido el Giller Prize y el Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize Las decisiones en momentos cruciales de las vidas de los protagonistas son uno de los puntos fijos alrededor de los cuales gira una buena parte de la narrativa de Alice Munro Ya destaqu este aspecto en el comentario sobre El amor de una mujer generosa, aunque en este caso el tema se aborda en muchos de los cuentos desde un punto de vista bien distinto En esta ocasi n no se trata tanto de reflexionar sobre el camino elegido o el lugar alcanzado, como del propio acto de decidir, de las muchas veces insondable forma en la que tomamos las decisiones.Porque no siempre resulta f cil conocer las razones que nos llevan a tomar tal o cual decisi n, y no siempre es por falta de valent a para enfrentarnos a ellas En ocasiones parece que simplemente las tomamos o que son ellas las que nos toman a nosotros Y si ya es dif cil para el protagonista, para los espectadores puede llegar a ser un imposible Entre estos relatos viven mujeres que act an de forma sorprendente, incluso podr amos llegar a pensar que de forma irracional por lo perjudiciales que aparentan ser esas decisiones para ellas mismas, y, al mismo tiempo, la autora logra convencernos de que en el fondo nada pod a ser de otra manera o, mejor a n, nos da pistas, ni muchas ni pocas, para construir esas razones que nos permitan hacer pie, cada uno su pie, sabiendo queSiempre tenemos la idea de que hay una u otra raz n y seguimos intentando descubrir razones Pero creo que la raz n no es algo tan f cil de sacar a la luzOtro punto que me ha parecido novedoso en estos relatos respecto a otros libros de Munro es la tensi n que envuelve a muchos de ellos Una tensi n de desastre inminente que sobrevuela constantemente las relaciones existentes entre los personajes.Por lo dem s, no faltan todos esos elementos que hacen grandes los relatos de esta excepcional escritora la aparente sencillez con la que despliega ante nosotros la complejidad de los sentimientos los reveladores detalles, contados como de pasada, que caracterizan una vida y pueden cambiarla por completo los giros inesperados, los silencios, el deseo en todas sus posibilidades, la culpa, la esperanza, y la sensaci n, al terminar cada relato, de haber le do toda una novela, de haber asistido a toda una vida Lean y disfruten comprobando lo dif cil que puede ser escapar, m xime si no se tiene muy claro de qu escapas y la explosi n de sentimientos que te llev a ello se ha desvanecido hasta dejarte vac o Oh, Alice Munro, por el placer que me ha sido concedido yo os declaro grande entre las grandes Pod is ir en paz. As seen on The ReadventurerLike many readers, I claim quite often that I am not really a fan of short stories, that is, I claim that until I come across the next good short story collection, like Alice Munro s Runaway My imaginary dislike for shorts can surely be traced to reading too many poorly assembled multi author anthologies There are maybe two of them in existence that I can honestly call good From my experience, single author collections are much, much satisfying.Once again, I have a podcast to thank for discovering a new great author this time, The New Yorker fiction podcast The moment I finished listening to Munro s Axis, I went straight to my digital public library to download me of her stories.What Alice Munro s stories remind me the most of are the works of another fabulous Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, particularly The Blind Assassin and Cat s Eye Maybe Canadian books, similar to Australian, have a specific regional flavor I am starting to believe they do, Canadian fiction tends to evokes feelings of cold, emptiness, spaciousness and loneliness in me Munro s stories have the same structure, they are told through a prism of many years past, usually by a mature female narrator, who looks back in time and recollects a specific experience of her youth that changed the whole course of her life The stories are told from a position of maturity and understanding, but with a feeling of a mild regret In the present, decades later, those life turning events do not sting as much as they used to, but the narrator knows unequivocally, they have changed EVERYTHING These events that Munro writes so beautifully about, can be quite trivial on the surface like going on a wild car ride with one s passionless fiance s brother or being momentarily rude to an annoying passenger on a train or traumatizing appearance of a strange woman in a child s life who makes the strangest insinuations about the child s birth , but whatever these events are, they affect the narrator in a major way.Munro s prose is deceptively simple and straightforward, but what she achieves with it is tremendous Her fame as one of finest short story writers is well deserved. 3.5 In the brief note she left, she had used the word authentic I have always felt the need of a authentic kind of life I know I cannot expect you to understand this. That was Carla s note to her parents when she ran away with Clark, a no good drifter, as her stepfather called him She says he saved up the money for a farm, so he can t be all bad But he IS temperamental Clark often had fights, and not just with the people he owed money to His friendliness, compelling at first, could suddenly turn sour There were places in town that he would not go into, because of some row Carla and Clark run a small riding school with very few clients and horses, and things are tight They live in a mobile home which she keeps trying to fix up She works a bit for an older, well to do university couple nearby Sylvia, the wife, is now a widow and has returned after a holiday in Greece She compares Carla to to her students, the college girls who hang on her every word That s not Carla Carla reminds her of some girls she knew in high school, buoyant but not rambunctious Naturally happy Dare I say authentic We know that Carla has made up some stories and is just a big kid in many ways She often escapes to the barn to do what I suppose she thinks of as authentic work, mucking out stables, while Clark juggles the bills and the books and real life He has good reason to be irritable, but she s unhappy and getting itchy feet again She s also nervous about the consequences of her tall tales.Lonely Sylvia tries to sit Carla down to talk and talk and talk about how wonderful Greece was, staying in a tiny village with nothing to do but go for walks More of that wonderfully simple, authentic life Her influence on unhappy, naive Carla has dramatic repercussions Alongside Carla s escapades are those of a very small goat, Flora, who disappears, reappears, disappears She starts off as company for the horses, but seems to represent.It s an interesting study of power and control Oh, yes, and authenticity How could I forget the universal hankering for the romance of the simple life This was a story from The Bound Together Group s short story discussion story itself was in the New Yorker there are links to Alice Munro stories here in 1997, the reigning king of redonda, a tiny island micronation in the bahamas, was so moved by superstar spanish writer javier marias s novel todas las almas that he abdicated the throne and handed it to marias weird shit so marias confers the title of duke and duchess to certain people, amongst them john ashbery duke of convexo pedro almodovar duke of tr mula frank gehry duke of nervi n w.g sebald duke of v rtigo guillermo cabrera infante duke of tigres every year all the dukes and duchesses come together and vote for one person to receive a duchy in 2005 they voted to cast amongst their ranks alice munro duchess of ontario an island run by a spanish writer and a whole team of supercool artist royalty i m gonna ditch the by now boring united states of america and become redonda s only inhabitant here re my theories as to why redonda s royalty, most other writers, and lotsa readers have a huge boner for alice munro 1 a she s an old lady b she s canadian c she s a badass anyone who s alive in the world understands a few things a c b c but somehow, in this instance a b c this has gotta rattle the shit outta some people 2 she bypasses all the tricks lotsa contemporary writers employ in order to tease out human behavior and all those lofty writery themes munro just sets it in motion and gets to the core quicker and with poignancy than most others contemporary writers who feel all the oldies peering over their shoulders feel like they gotta do something new different to distinguish themselves must secretly loathe munro for just spinning a yarn filled with of the good shit than they pack into their stories of monsters of mud and comic books and hebraic constables etc 3 y know how francis ford coppola the duke of megal polis seriously elevated the doings of scuzzy gangsters to the level of olympian gods well, alice munro manages to pull a variation of this with totally ordinary people it s even impressive, really she manages to pull the elevate to olympian god thing while simultaneously keeping her stories small and creaky and specific 4 it s 1983 and i m laying on my back in the 6 school library while mrs greene reads to us with her cracky old woman s voice i close my eyes and take in that dusty book smell and just get totally lost in the world of a great story munro does this for adults her stories are what stories meant to us when we were kids 5 this book is not one of her strongest but, paraphrasing woody allen on orgasms the worst one is right on the money, the worst is still pretty great 6 alice munro is our chekhov cynthia ozick yes, yes realism and straightforward storytelling is a trick , another mode of storytelling as artificial as any type of formalism blahblahblah you know exfuckingactly what i mean here occasionally munro employs those o henryesque endings these are amongst her weakest stories. I agree with those that claim Alice Munro stories are like novels, in that they are expansive You re left feeling you ve departed a journey with these characters that you ve come to like, destest and feel disappointed in Also, they re longer than the average short story But Munro, in sweeping wonderful prose writes such striking characters in mostly small ordinary Canadian towns. O realizador espanhol Pedro Almodovar adaptou ao cinema os contos Acaso, Em Breve e Sil ncio com Juliet como protagonista.Adoro contosA escritora canadiana Alice Munro n 1931 de quem li recentemente O Progresso do Amor 1985 1986 4 , Falsos Segredos 1994 5 e dio, Amizade, Namoro, Amor, Casamento 2001 4 Pr mio Nobel da Literatura em 2013 uma especialista na narrativa curta, reconhecida e aclamada como um mestre do conto contempor neo , apenas com um nico romance publicado em 1971, Vidas de Raparigas e Mulheres Fugas 2004 mais uma deslumbrante colect nea de oito contos sobre mulheres reais , nos seus sentimentos e na sua complexidade emocional, de todas as idades, de todas as classes sociais, de todos os n veis de instru o acad mica com descri es profundas, impregnadas de sequ ncias simb licas, com reflex es sociol gicas e filos ficas absorventes Por vezes, Alice Munro cria algum suspense na narrativa, interrompendo o um pouco mais frente, deixando o leitor levemente insatisfeito mas retomando o mais tarde como um momento culminante da hist ria.A escrita em Fugas nunca desilude, inteligente e met dica, num mundo fict cio de Alice Munro, que se vai tornando real e profundo para o leitor, onde quase todas as hist rias nos falam sobre o passado e sobre o presente, com in meras lacunas e saltos temporais, algumas de meses, outros de mais de quarenta anos mas que nos envolvem invariavelmente no seu dia a dia, nos seus problemas, na sua felicidade e na suas tristezas algumas jovens mulheres que actuam sobre o desejo de serem felizes, da realiza o sexual ou rom ntica, de se libertarem definitivamente do preconceito social, de enveredarem pela mudan a e pela estabilidade afectiva Os dois melhores contos 1 Fugida 5 Carla e o seu marido, Clark vivem numa quinta com cavalari as tratando de cavalos e guas dedicam se, simultaneamente, ao ensino da equita o a jovens.Sylvia Jamieson a vizinha, recentemente vi va, percebe que a uni o de Carla e o temperamental Clark est em crise Mrs Jamieson temia ter se envolvido demais na vida de Carla e que cometera o erro de supor que a felicidade e a liberdade de Carla eram uma e a mesma coisa P g 41 Flora, uma pequena cabrinha branca desaparece misteriosamente da quinta acaba por aparecer mais tarde de uma forma misteriosa.O destino de Carla e de Flora est o intimamente ligados Com a aproxima o dos dias dourados e secos do outono uma esta o produtiva e motivante Carla descobriu que se habituara ao pensamento pontiagudo que nela se alojara J n o era t o pontiagudo ali s, j n o a surpreendia E agora sentia se invadida por uma ideia quase sedutora, uma tenta o em constante lat ncia.S tinha de erguer os olhos, s tinha de olhar numa certa direc o, para saber para onde podia ir P g 42 7 Truques 5 Robin uma jovem que realiza uma viagem anual para Stratord com o intuito de ver uma pe a de teatro de Skakespeare Numa dessas viagens perde a carteira e encontra Danilo Adzic.Se Os g meos s o frequentemente causa de mal entendidos e acidentes em Skakespeare Um meio para um fim, o que se sup e serem esses truques E no fim resolvem se os mist rios, perdoam se as partidas, reacende se o amor verdadeiro ou algo que o valha, e os que foram enganados t m bom g nio e n o reclamam P g 210 Dif cil imaginar agora, pela maneira como as coisas eram ent o.Foi tudo estragado num dia, em alguns minutos, n o aos solu os, com v rios esfor os e conflitos, esperan as e perdas, no modo esgotante como se costumam estragar as coisas E se verdade que geralmente se estragam, n o seria essa maneira r pida a mais f cil de suportar Mas n o assim que se v em as coisas, n o quando somos n s que estamos implicados. Runaway Noun or Verb As a noun, runaway conjures a fairly specific character and situation.Image Runaway child with backpackBut as a phrasal verb, running away is often much broader and metaphorical.Right now, writing this, while sitting at my laptop, I m running away from planning a conference presentation In the past, I have run away from physical fear trying to climb a net a job I hated so much it was making me ill and from potential rejection and thus from possible acceptance.But often, consciously or not, I stiffen my British upper lip and focus on surviving immediate difficulties, either by denial or by distracting myself with fripperies, against a background of hopeful detachment.Living in the present can be a coping strategy for those with past trauma or a fearful future I m not really in either camp But maybe as a symptom of enjoying fiction, if times are tricky, I default to imagining alternative situations, rather than face the one I m actually living.Image My life is interesting inside my head I can t find the original artist Even doing nothing is a decision of sorts Never put off to tomorrow, what you can put off till next week. said no successful, famous, and content person, ever.I see the patterns of my behaviour, but not a generalised solution, no way to discern which approach to use when This is frustrating, because wilful ignorance is an accidentally recurring theme of my recent reading Ford Madox Ford s The Good Soldier see my review HERE and John Williams Nothing But the Night see my review HERE , and now this.Reading to Save OurselvesMy edition has an introduction by Jonathan Franzen I read it in 2018, a year and a half into Trump s presidency But in 2004, Franzen wrote Hatred is entertaining The great insight of media age extremists How else to explain the election of so many repellant zealots, the disintegration of political civility, the ascendancy of Fox NewHe ends up asking if a better kind of fiction can save the world, and concludes that s unlikely, but it may save your soul That is why we read, and why we discuss on GR I think there is worth in that thought than in some of these stories except they are part of his solution A Mixed Bag Three of the stories are episodes in the life of one character, Juliet, forming a novella That is preceded and followed by other stories, which are unrelated, except they are all of similar length, have single word titles, and share the general theme of a Canadian woman running away from the past, from parents, from partners, from a child, from reality, from religion and to it To quote from REM s Belong, they want To breathe at the thought of such freedom Opened the window, A breath, this song, how long, And knew, knew, belong There s nothing inherently wrong with a mix of novella and short stories, but in this case, it added to the sense of unevenness in the collection The best of the stories were very good though not superb, like Munro s The Lives of Girls and Women see my review HERE , but the final one was a ridiculous, disjointed, unengaging mess THE STORIESRunaway 3 Carla ran away to marry Clark She saw him as the architect of the life ahead of them, herself as captive, her submission both proper and exquisite. They now run a stables, not very successfully, and are married, not very successfully Carla is fonder of her pet goat, Flora You sense casual manipulation and overt put downs a see saw misery Then, a twisted plan, and a dash of almost magical realism Chance Juliet s story, part 1 4 As a child in the suburbs, Juliet s mother had wanted her to be popular, and her father to fit in Her sort of intelligence was often put in the same category as a limp or an extra thumb. She s now a young classics teacher who views and interprets the world and people in it by analogies in Greek mythology She has a strange experience and a curious encounter on a train Blood is relevant for two very different reasons The parallel narratives mean you re not initially clear how or if they re connected, and whether one is imaginary Soon Juliet s story, part 2 3 This opens with a description of a strange painting titled, I and the Village Juliet takes her small daughter Penelope to visit her aging hippie parents, Sam and Sara, who lived in a curious but not unhappy isolation Atheist Juliet is shocked that her mother has acquired some sort of faith, and angry when a priest friend of her mother s criticizes her for depriving Penelope of a religious upbringing It s poignant, but firmly the middle part it doesn t work as well as a standalone story as parts 1 and 3.Silence Juliet s story, part 3 5 Penelope is now 20, and has been away at a spiritual retreat for the last six months Unlike the other stories in the collection, this one focuses on the one left behind, as she tries to join the dots, tormented by thoughts of what she should have done differently It s far painful Brilliantly so There can be freedom in being abandoned But freedom isn t necessarily happiness Passion 4 The risk of revisiting the past is that it has changed, gone, or is just irrelevant Grace returns to the lake town where she had worked and fallen in love Or rather, Maury fell in love with her She seemed closer though not in a sexual way to his mother, who understood her passion for knowledge Mrs Travers would not start any sort of conversation until enough time had passed for Grace s thoughts to have got loose from whatever book she had been in. The title is as much about lack of passion fear and inexperience made McEwan s On Chesil Beach come to mind see my review HERE as misdirected passion Two people running away from different things, in different ways, is not necessarily a recipe for a happy ending Trespasses 4 The previous story started with a woman revisiting her past and ended with drama in a car This separate story starts with four in a car, revisiting the past The situation is intriguingly vague, as are the connections between the people, and the two timelines rather like one of the characters She talked about her life without getting it in any kind of order. It s about identity and the sort of insecurities many children have about their place in the world, and especially their family It looked as if it was going to be unoriginal and thus predictable It was neither If there was one big thing she hadn t known about, why could there not be another This notion was unsettling, but it had a distant charm. Tricks 5 Robin 26 cares for her sickly older sister, Joanne Her annual treat to herself is a trip to see a Shakespeare play, and his themes are the key to the story lost and found, mistaken identity, opportunities lost by a sliver of chance, and the transformative effect of a curious and powerful connection Nothing faded for her Her memories, and the embroidery on her memories, just kept wearing a deeper groove. Powers 1 A first person narration mostly , starting earlier than the others, in 1927 Nancy has recently left school, but is still rather naive and childish in her extrovert and teasing ways A male friend wonders why he hangs out with her, when she is Not outstanding in any way, except perhaps in being spoiled, saucy, and egotistical. Nancy herself Was truly, naturally reckless and full of some pure conviction that she led a charmed life. I didn t buy it Her friend Tessa seemed charmed, living in the woods, doing psychic consultations, mainly to help people find lost things including bodies.Anyway, Nancy gets implausibly engaged, and then married, then there s an epistolary section, and a bit of discussion of parapsychology Later, the story turns to Tessa, and the consequences of moderate fame, infamy, and investigation There are chance meetings that are too convenient The characters are mostly inconsistent and not credible There s mention of people s need to believe in alternative reality Very bitty time hops The ending was odd and confusing This story was a mess I hated it, and most of all, I hated that it was the last one of an otherwise very good collection Other Quotes The whole countryside was changing, shaking itself loose after a long period of endless rain They outings were what people did before they understood the realities of their lives He was both a handsome man and a silly looking man Tall, lean, well built, but with a slouch that seemed artificial A contrived, self conscious air of menace a vain little moustache, eyes that appeared both hopeful and mocking, a boyish smile perpetually on the verge of a sulk It was as if she had a murderous needle somewhere in her lungs, and by breathing carefully, she could avoid feeling it But every once in a while she had to take a deep breath, and it was still there Trim abundance a few repetitive houses suburbs She can tell by his voice that he is claiming her He advances on her and she feels herself ransacked from top to bottom, flooded with relief, assaulted by happiness The sort of card you send to an acquaintance whose tastes you cannot guess The memory of him in the daily and ordinary world was in retreat The smell did not make Grace hungry, exactly it made her remember being hungry in other circumstances Her casually provocative outfits Everything might still be cheerful but the cheerfulness was hard as knives a couple, after drinking A bachelor s room, with everything deliberate and necessary proclaiming a certain austere satisfaction The conversation of kisses Sporadic and secret, but, on the whole, comforting someone s sex life. Here s what Jonathan Franzen said about this book in the NY Times Book Review Basically, Runaway is so good that I don t want to talk about it here Quotation can t do the book justice, and neither can synopsis The way to do it justice is to read it.But here s what Michiko Kakutani says about it in the NY Times Instead of assuming the organic, musical form of real life, they feel like self conscious, overworked tales, relying on awkwardly withheld secrets and O Henryesque twists to create narrative suspense EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNG WRONG.Franzen s right Just read it It s good It s not THAT good, it s too simple and straightforward to really rock your world on a spiritual level, but it s really really good Her stories are long sometimes a bit too and have a ton of emotional weight, which a lot of these tricky young writers seem to forget to include in the name of fun No tricks here Just good stories That s the Alice Munro promise.