Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

An extended short-story cycle from 1971 that plays as a novel.  Dense, wonderful characters.  Absolutely unique voice of a young girl, young woman's coming-of-age story.  Still ringing in my head, I miss reading it already.

Conversations there [at my aunt's house] had many levels, nothing could be stated directly, every joke might be a thrust turned inside out.  My mother's disapproval was open and unmistakable, like heavy weather; theirs came like tiny razor cuts, bewilderingly, in the middle of kindness.  They had the Irish gift for rampaging mockery, embroidered with deference.

There is twas, the mysterious and to me novel suggestion that choosing not to do things showed, in the end, more wisdom and self-respect than choosing to do them.

I wanted me to love me, and I wanted to think of the universe when I looked at the moon.

People's wishes, and their other offerings, were what I took then naturally, a bit distractedly, as if they were never anything more than my due.

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