A brilliant, compelling new collection from one of the world's greatest living short-story writers, and winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2009.
A wife and mother, whose spirit has been crushed, finds release from her extraordinary pain in the most unlikely place. The young victim of a humiliating seduction (which involves reading Housman in the nude) finds an unusual way to get her own back and move on. An older woman, dying of cancer, weaves a poisonous story to save her life. Other stories uncover the 'deep holes' in marriage and their consequences, the dangerous intimacy of girls and the cruelty of children. The long title story follows Sophia Kovalevsky, a late nineteenth-century Russian emigree and mathematical genius, as she takes a fateful winter journey that begins with a visit to her lover on the Riviera, and ends in Sweden, where she is a professor at the only university willing to hire a woman to teach her subject.
Alice Munro takes on complex, even harrowing emotions and events, and renders them into stories that surprise, amaze and shed light on the unpredictable ways we accommodate to what happens in our lives.
About the Author
ALICE MUNRO is the author of THE BEGGAR MAID (shortlisted for the Booker Prize) a novel and several outstanding collections of stories, including OPEN SECRETS (winner of the WHSmith Literary Award), HATESHIP, FRIENDSHIP, COURTSHIP, LOVESHIP, MARRIAGE and most recently the acclaimed RUNAWAY. Her work appears regularly in The New Yorker and she is a winner of the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Prize in her native Canada.
"She writes with a beautiful clarity, an elemental humanity and a marvellous, limpid, funny, apprehension of what goes on" -- Jane Shilling * Sunday Telegraph *
"Some of the most honest, intuitive and exacting fiction, long or short, of our time" -- Tom Gatti * The Times *
"Munro's bold, unflinching narratives have taken the short story places many a novelist has feared to tread... That she does this in a style both calm and deliberate, fluid yet tightly controlled, stark yet compassionate, is what makes her insights into the human condition so profound" -- Mary Crockett * Scotsman *
"Written with veteran assurance, brimming with intensely believable characters and rich social detail, these dispatches from the most unsparing reaches of Munro's imagination confirm her acclaimed place on the highest ground of contemporary fiction" -- Peter Kemp * Sunday Times *
"Alice Munro commands enormous respect and almost uncritical adoration from her readers" -- Elaine Showalter * Literary Review *