Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friend of my Youth

Keeping in mind the journey I have just completed this past year, by bingeing on Ray Bradbury, you might be able to understand how mystifying I have found Alice Munro to be.  I have never experienced her before, and have only just learnt through casual conversation, that we (meaning DH and myself) had actually visited her book store that time we went down to Victoria to drop DS#3 off at university. 
At the time I admit I was a little preoccupied with “mum stuff“, and the fact that I was looking for two other book related treats (the restaurant ReBar, and Emily Carr’s house).  So I wasn’t really paying attention when we went to Munro’s Books and didn’t realise the significance (not that I‘m saying that visiting a book store is insignificant…we did put two and two together after all and figure it out for ourselves when the only mention in the news was that she actually owned a bookstore in Victoria).

Since Alice Munro's winning of the Nobel, I thought it would be a good idea to finally read something of hers…especially since I have four of her books that I had picked up in various second hand stores. 
I would have to agree with her review blurbs.  She really is very good.  I just don’t understand her yet. 
Friend of my Youth was absorbing and uncomfortable.  Absorbing because this is my very first encounter with Alice Munro and it was engrossing, trying to understand her (haven't figured that out yet!), and uncomfortable because of the subject content of her stories.  I am captivated!  I want to know what makes Munro tick, which means I must read more of her work.  It was so easy and wonderful to read Bradbury because I understood and loved him, so each story was like an affirmation of what I knew.  Not so with Alice, she is a mystery to me, which I look forward to learning about.

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