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Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories (2001)

by Alice Munro

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,703614,103 (4.11)97
A collection of short fiction explores the complexities of human relationships and emotions in stories about a housekeeper entering old-maidhood whose life is transformed by a practical joke and a lifelong philanderer who finds the tables turned.
  1. 00
    Away from Her [2006 film] by Sarah Polley (TheLittlePhrase)
    TheLittlePhrase: away from her is based on alice munro's story " the bear went over the mountain"
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» See also 97 mentions

English (47)  Italian (5)  Swedish (4)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Diese Geschichte einer langjährigen Ehe, die letzten Endes durch Demenz zerstört wird, hat mich nicht wirklich gepackt. Vielleicht liegt es daran, dass es mit der wiederholten Untreue des Ehemanns und später der Demenz der Frau einfach zu viel für eine so kurze Geschichte war und sie mir an einigen Stellen deshalb nicht genug Tiefgang war? Ich weiß es nicht, aber ich werde definitiv noch einmal versuchen, etwas von dieser Autorin zu lesen. ( )
  Ellemir | Nov 9, 2021 |
The title of this collection is that of the first story, where it refers to a daisy-pulling game two adolescent girls play. But it also serves as a description of the topics of all the stories, in which Alice Munro explores the interior life of women. Most are located in rural or small-town Ontario, one in Vancouver.
Munro unfolds her stories carefully and develops her characters well in detailed yet economical prose. One recurring motif in the stories is the loss, after a long illness, most of it spent bed-ridden at home, of a mother or neighbor. Many of her figures come from straightened circumstances, but their intelligence leads to a broader experience of the world.
One technique struck me: in some of the stories, a figure who seemed peripheral or was newly introduced toward the end initiates the plot twist on which the story turns.
All of the stories are good, but the best one comes last. I’d recommend reading them in order so that the final story, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” has its full impact and is the last taste of the book. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Aug 20, 2021 |
Munro just won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, so it stands to reason that a number of people will, like me, pick one of her books almost at random to see what the fuss is about. I'm happy to report that this is a wonderful collection of short stories that shows Munro as being in the first rank of fiction writers and makes for a great introduction to her work. Fully discussing each of the nine stories in here would take as long or longer than just reading the stories themselves, but they are all basically flawless - full of well-drawn characters, realistic yet compelling drama, and acute psychological insight. Her writing style is also notable, being so naturalistic, subtle, and skillful that her presence is barely even perceptible, yet I frequently found myself reading for a while, pausing to think, and then going back a page or two to marvel at how much she was able to pack into her sentences without the Heavy Hand of the Author showing.

In terms of the substance of the stories, Munro typically concentrates on older people going through emotionally turbulent periods in their lives. That sounds vague enough to be nearly meaningless, but it's very rare to find a writer who's able to take the average and everyday and bring out the drama and meaning in it without sounding overly portentous or trite - time and again her characters will get into situations involving love, loyalty, betrayal, growth, or some other strongly personal emotion where most writers would simply pull out an obvious or facile Hollywood plot twist to neatly wrap up the story. Not her. She's able to portray people's complex and confused reactions to what life throws at them without ever seeming like she's doing anything but straightforwardly recounting real people and real events. I read an essay that compared her to Chekhov in that way, and another good comparison might be David Simon, who has remarked that a big part of his technique in fiction was "stealing life" by using actual quotes and stories. Truth is often stranger and more powerful than fiction, and Munro's stories have the unmistakable signature of someone with a keen eye and a good ear for what's going on around her.

The stories also usually have an air of sadness or melancholy to them without being oppressive or gloomy, instead leaving the reader with a thoughtful, almost wistful feeling. In between when I was physically reading the stories in the book I found myself listening to the people around me in a new way, trying to pick up on some of the details that Munro was able to render and wondering to what extent others were d doing the same. How often do I take a minute to think about the role that I play in the lives of the people close to me, or what about me will be remembered years in the future? Not often enough.

It may sound silly to recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about life, but that's exactly what it's about, and any fan of good writing should pick this, or probably any of her other works, up as soon as they can. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
As always, Alice Munro does not disappoint. I kept this book in the car for many months, my emergency book, as my husband calls the books I leave in the glove compartment for the occasions when a doctor appointment takes too long, or a friend is late to arrive. Generally those emergency books do disappoint me, not often as a fault of their own, but because I as the reader don't invest in them the emotional currency necessary for one to truly enjoy a book. Reading is not meant to be done in fragments - Do really are there people out there that read a page of a book every night? - but I believe that the true pleasure of a book in in the binge, the losing oneself into a story for hours on end, the assimilation of a character into one's own conscience as to smell the smells that they smell, and hunger for the food that they eat.

Wow, do I digress. Please forgive me. It is one of those Sunday mornings when one feels metaphysical.

Going back to the book them, some of the stories in this collection were re-reads, repetition from other short story collections by Munro. But I think they were chosen wisely, and put together they create a good landscape of her writing. A good collection of her works for someone who never read her before, or for someone wanting to re-read her stories. But I am biased, I love her writing. ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
stories that are short and feature covetous relationships and other life slices ( )
  stravinsky | Dec 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alice Munroprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rutten, KathleenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Hateship , friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage : stories was reissued with the title Away from her in 2007. (The collection contains Alice Munro's short story The bear came over the mountain which was later made into the motion picture Away From Her).
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A collection of short fiction explores the complexities of human relationships and emotions in stories about a housekeeper entering old-maidhood whose life is transformed by a practical joke and a lifelong philanderer who finds the tables turned.

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