On “Dear Life”: An Interview with Alice Munro
Posted by Deborah Treisman
Your new collection of stories, “Dear Life,” which came out this month, includes several narratives in which women in some way shake off the weight of their upbringing and do something unconventional—and are then, perhaps, punished for it, by men who betray them or abandon them at their most vulnerable. It happens in “Leaving Maverley,” “Amundsen,” “Corrie,” “Train,” and other stories. Even the aunt in “Haven” pays a price for a seemingly minor rebellion against her husband’s dictatorship. Does that trajectory seem inevitable to you—at least in fiction?
In “Amundsen,” the girl has her first experience with a helplessly selfish man—that’s the type that interests her. A prize worth getting, always, though she ends up somewhat more realistic, stores him away in fantasy. That’s how I see it.
In “Leaving Maverley,” a fair number of people are…
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