Monday, December 22, 2008

Some Women

by Alice Munro

As I get older, I find I have more and more appreciation for the work of Alice Munro. I don't know which of us has changed - her or I, or if it's a bit of both.

Her recent stories in the New Yorker often are told from the point of view of a young girl in a small town in Ontario, and frequently seem to carry an undercurrent of class division. Her stories depict a world that is mostly gone, where powerful families live in big houses on hills, and only interact with the middle- and lower-classes when they have need of them, as is the case here, when the narrator is called upon to help care for a man dying of leukemia.

The story here is simple and straight-forward, yet beguiling in its accoutrements of back staircases, heavy oak doors, and glass-fronted bookcases.

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