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Product Description

In Alice Munro’s superb 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.

Throughout this compelling collection, Alice Munro’s understanding of the people about whom she writes makes them as vivid as our own neighbors. Here are the infinite betrayals and surprises of love–between men and women, between friends, between parents and children–that are the stuff of all our lives. It is Alice Munro’s special gift to make these stories as vivid and real as our own.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • I don't get what all the fuss is about!! Its pretty average!
    I only read the title story, Runaway. I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about surrounding this book - but i wasn't impressed at all.

    The characters are are neither interesting, nor memorable. You don't really get a clear sense of who they are or what makes them tick, they have no depth, no character, no personality.

    The storyline was equally uninspiring and uninteresting. I kept expecting something to happen or some kind of epiphany or insight but it never came and when i was done i just thought, "huh??!!"

    I've enjoyed many books that don't have such distinct or interseting stories but are so beautifully written the words carry you along, and i've also enjoyed books that have a compelling story but are very simply written. This book was neither style or story driven.

    Whatever genre this is, i really don't like it!...more info
  • Alice Munro is the Master of Short Stories
    I can think of no better short story writer than Alice Munro.
    She is able to evoke a whole world with few words. Without
    spoiling any of the stories or their outcomes here are some
    of the ideas on which the stories are based.

    In this collection I especially liked the title story 'Runaway'.
    An abused woman seeks refuge with her neighbor, an enlightened
    woman who tries to help her. As in most cases of domestic violence
    things do not turn out as neatly as one might predict.

    I enjoyed the trilogy about a woman whose daughter joins a cult.

    My favorite story in the collection is a poignant and tragic story
    about how a case of mistaken identity causes a love to be lost for
    a lifetime. This story is so powerful that I felt like I was
    viscerally blindsided while reading it.

    One of the stronger stories is about a woman who has an impulsive
    affair with an alcoholic doctor.

    I savor Ms. Munro's work and have learned not to predict or expect
    what will happen next.

    I give this book my highest recommendation.

    ...more info
  • Beautiful Stories

    If you have not read Alice Munro, how I envy you. You have so much pleasure ahead of you. She writes for us about wonder- the wonder of everyday life; the small things; the touching things; the things that make you say, yes, this is the human heart; all of these are her fictional world, much as they are our pasts, and our presents. This is a strong collection and an excellent place to get to know what she is about. After this, explore her backlist. My personal favorite besides this is an early collection called,The Moons of Jupiter, which is still in print in a nice paperbak format. I hope you enjoy discovering her as much as I have.
    ...more info
  • Amazing Short-Story Writer!
    This is more of a testimony than a review. A friend of mine loaned me this book several months ago, and it went into a pile of papers on my desk and I promptly forgot about it. When I discovered it last week, I was blown away, and had to call my friend to thank them... but not until I ordered my own copy. While reading the first story in this collection, I realized how rare it is that a short story sorta works miracles in your head. How a good writer can somehow pack pages of understanding into a couple of lines. I will never forget the first time I read short-stories by such writers. Raymond Carver is one. Flannery O'Conner another. And definitely Alice Munro. Speaking from experience, Runaway makes for a great introduction to Munro's writing. But there is a lot more out there, and I'm off to read it! ...more info
  • The Epoch of Short Stories
    It doesn't matter if you have heard of Alice Munro or not. This collection of short stories by one of the best short writers in the world bespeaks of sensitivity and a high mastery of the craft of writing.

    The stories are about women and love in all of its forms. Deceit, trust, love, desire and regret. The protagonists in each story are well thought out individuals, not a false note in any of them. Alice Munro succeeds in telling a story without slipping into a basket of clichs, rather telling stories as they really do happen in real life without a twinge of regret for having done so. Her characters are introspective while very much being a part of the world they inhabit. They are strong, weak, they have faults, in essence, they are believable which is the highest compliment a writer can receive.

    Anyone wishing to learn the craft of writing short stories would do well to start here. ...more info
  • Not Sure
    Runaway is the first book of short stories by Alice Munro I've read. I'd just finished reading Now & Then by Frederick Buechner so Ms. Munro's writing style suffered sadly in comparison. I'm sorry but Now and Then, an autobio by Buechner lingered in my memory long after I finished. If Ms. Munro is the best and brightest short story writer we have on the North American continent, we are in trouble, literarily speaking. I saw the usual gushy reviews claiming Ms. Munro is another Faulkner and is likened other Southern greats. I don't see it. I'm sorry. I'm not sure what I'm missing here but the characters of her stories seem pale, smaller than life, restrained and yes, a bit trite. Perhaps her writing is understated and subtle. I was wrong to try to find passion in the trilogy of Juliet. She seemed a bit of a yawn and easily dismissed. Is this what Ms. Munro intended? I'm not sure. Try Ron Rash is you want to read a passionate, lyric Southern short story writer who is a new star in the Southern sky....more info