One of Mrs Maxted’s June reads so far has been Alice Munro’s Too Much Happiness, her collection of short stories which won the 2009 Man Booker International Prize. She says that she wouldn’t usually pick up a book of short stories having a preference for reading novels, but this one had been recommended by a friend who knew that she liked reading literature by Canadian writers. This collection has made her re-think her preferences as she did enjoy this edition. What follows is an excellent summary from the Waterstone’s website:
“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 of this title 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.”
If you like short stories as a genre, why not give this a try?