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Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art

Fiamengo, JaniceLynch, Gerald (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press | Reappraisals: Canadian Writers

Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art is a collection of sixteen original essays on Nobel laureate Alice Munro’s writings. The volume covers the entirety of Munro’s career, from the first stories she published in the early 1950s as an undergraduate at the University of Western Ontario to her final books. It offers an enlightening range of approaches and interpretive strategies, and provides many new perspectives, reconsidered positions and analyses that will enhance the reading, teaching, and appreciation of Munro’s remarkable—indeed miraculous—work.

Following the editors’ introduction—which surveys Munro’s recurrent themes, explains the design of the book, and summarizes each contribution—Munro biographer Robert Thacker contributes a substantial bio-critical introduction to her career. The book is then divided into three sections, focusing on Munro’s characteristic forms, themes, and most notable literary effects.


Alice Munro's Miraculous Art amply illustrates the complexity, multi-layeredness and ambiguities of Munro's work because (not in spite) of this narrow frame - with not a "defensive tone" to speak of.


Munro’s characteristic themes are delineated in five close critical readings of particular stories illustrating her reworking of core materials over decades, creating a multidimensional effect in her treatment of female sexual desire and erotic fantasy, mother–daughter relations, situations of social unease, threat, and betrayal.


Janice Fiamengo and Gerald Lynch’s edited collection of

essays on Alice Munro brings together a number of rigorous pieces from scholars

across the country on one of Canada’s best writers....Taken together, the

essays collected in Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art make an

important addition to the substantial corpus of literary criticism on Munro,

incorporating new and important perspectives on the beloved Canadian short

story writer.


Janice Fiamengo is Full Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, specializing in early Canadian literature. She is the author of The Women’s Page (University of Toronto Press, 2008) and of numerous journal articles on Canadian women writers.


Gerald Lynch has authored seven books and edited some dozen others, including three previously in the Reappraisals series. His critical studies include Stephen Leacock: Humour and Humanity (McGill-Queens University Press, 1988) and The One and the Many: Canadian Short Story Cycles (University of Toronto Press, 2001). He has published numerous short stories, essays and reviews, including a number on the writings of Munro. He is a former winner of the National Magazine gold award for short fiction, and has been teaching at the University of Ottawa since 1985.

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