Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Silence" by Alice Munro

"Silence" by Alice Munro (2005, 41 pages)

Canada-Country 2 of 196

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Alice Munro (Canada, 1931) is almost the universal choice for the title of world's best living short story writer, with William Trevor as a close second. I know I need to read a great many more stories by both writers. I have previously posted on two of Munro's short stories. I am currently reading her collection of stories, Runaway. I really loved the middle story in the collection, "Silence". One of the things Munro seems a total,master of is the ability to tell us a great deal about her characters while still leaving their central human mystery intact and the marvelous way she does this in this story is one of the reasons I loved it.

I will tell just a small amount of the plot. The story, set in Munro's home country of Canada, centers on an educated, intelligent woman who has always been very close to her now young adult daughter. To her great confusion, her daughter has left home to join an Ashran, a center for alternative spiritual teaching. Months go by and she does not hear from her daughter. She goes to the center and her daughter has left it some time ago for parts unknown. The spiritual mother superior tells her that the daughter was raised without a spiritual background. Years go by and the mother gets only Christmas cards then even the cards stop. She goes on with her life, trying to face reality but never really giving up,on hearing from her daughter. She never understands why her beloved daughter cut off all contact with her and what Munro leaves out of this story is what makes her a master.

There is a deep sorrow and sadness in this profound story.

I hope to read more of her work in 2013.

Please share your favorite Munro stories with us

Mel u

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