Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Alice Munro

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Alice Munro

Article excerpt

Ailsa Cox, Alice Munro (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers Ltd, 2004), x + 113pp. £10.99. ISBN 0-7463-0992-9.

Ailsa Cox's study on the contemporary Canadian short story writer Alice Munro is a well-researched and challenging book of literary criticism. It includes all of Munro's primary texts apart from the collection of short stories Runaway (2004) which was published the same year as Cox's book so she could not possibly include it.

Cox cleverly uses the first part of her introduction to place Munro for the reader in the past and present and also the Canadian and international literary scene. She refers to other famous short story writers who had a significant literary influence on Munro's writing such as Chekhov, Maupassant, Mansfield, Joyce, Gallant, O'Connor and Welty. She also relates Munro's work to other Canadian short story writers in the sixties and seventies such as Blaise, Wiebe, Engel, Laurence, Thomas and Atwood in order to illustrate that 'Munro's work combines the international with the provincial' (p. 5).

The second part of the introduction maps out the chapters of the book which do not follow a chronological order; instead, Cox makes 'connections across' Munro's 'work' (p. 7) and discusses issues such as the making of the female artist, mother-daughter dyad, time, memory, dialogue, the body and ageing. …

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