Tag Archives: Alice Munro

Wonderful similes

‘Among the specimens of tastelessness lodged in the book like the threepenny coins in a Christmas pudding, none may surpass . . . .’

Janet Malcolm, ‘A Very Sadistic Man’, review of Ted Hughes:The Unauthorised Life by Jonathon Bate, 11/2/2016 The NY Review of Books (from here) 

‘Similes dangle like baubles from me.’

William Gass, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country

“We were not afraid of outside though this was the time of year when snowdrifts curled around our house like sleeping whales and the wind harassed us all night… We were afraid of inside, the room where we slept.”

Alice Munro, Boys and Girls 

‘The lane looks empty of all life like a road in a painting of a dream.’

William Gass, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country

People often ask me when I came out, generalizing from the experience of many young people who announce themselves to the world on a particular afternoon. But I did not divorce my reticence in a single sharp break. Rather, I seeped out like a spreading wine stain.

People still ask my husband and me which of us is the mom—which, as one lesbian friend pointed out to me, is like asking which chopstick is the fork.

Andrew Solomon On Gay Parenting , The Threepenny Review (from here) 

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A story is not like a road to follow

A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
Alice Munro (Selected Stories, 1968-1994) quoted here 

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People’s lives were dull, simple, amazing and unfathomable – deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.
Alice Munro The Lives of Girls and Women.

[in my stories] I want to move away from what happened to the possibility of this happened or that happened to a kind of idea that life is not just made up of the facts the things that happened, that I went to school … but all the things that have happened in fantasy, the things that might have happened, the kind of alternate life that can almost seem to be accompanying what we call our real lives and I wanted to get all that working together. Alice Munro, in interview

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