Runaway

Publisher: Penguin Canada
The incomparable Alice Munro's bestselling and rapturously acclaimed Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises. In Munro's hands, the people she writes about—women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children—become as vivid as our own neighbours. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.

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From the story "Tricks"

For five years Robin had been doing this. One play every summer. It had started when she was living in Stratford, training to be a nurse. She went with a fellow student who had a couple of free tickets from her aunt, who worked on costumes. The girl who had the tickets was...
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PRAISE FOR

“Alice Munro has a strong claim to being the best fiction writer now working in North America.… Read Munro! Read Munro!”
–Jonathan Franzen in The New York Times Book Review


“Wise, compelling and quite simply brilliant, Runaway is a gift to all of us …”
–Jane Urquhart in the National Post


“Like all of Munro’s previous, award-winning short story collections – which prompted The Atlantic Monthly to call her ‘the living writer most likely to be read in 100 years’ – Runaway is filled with memorable, if increasingly eccentric, characters whose lives unfold in astonishing ways.… Munro is not one bit bleak; she is steadfast, lucid, occasionally funny and thrillingly honest.… In Alice Munro’s hands, the smallest moments contain the central truths of a lifetime, in which disaster, honesty and hope are teased out as if indeed there was not a minute to lose.”
Maclean’s, October 4, 2004


“Quintessential Munro at top form… with each successive collection Munro has demonstrated her mastery over the short story form, of which she is arguably the foremost practitioner in Canada and perhaps the world.

Meticulously constructed, seemingly effortless, these eight stories have an instantly recognizable Munro-like quality of plainness.”
–Maureen Garvie, Quill and Quire


Runaway shows Munro’s own powers of verbal precision are undiminished. Her trademark techniques – the ability to sum up physical objects (the ‘damp and battered-looking little house’ on the forested coast of British Columbia), the creation of note-perfect dialogue – remain as sharp as ever. So consistent and seemingly effortless are her touches that one can’t even guess whether they now represent well-honed instinct or still the result of intense labour on her part to get the words right. It doesn’t matter.… Munro knows that it is not enough to create nuanced and utterly real characters. To engage the heart of the reader, it is also necessary to show these characters in desperate circumstances.”
–Philip Marchand, Toronto Star (September 26, 2004)


“She is one of those few living writers who, in the way of the greats, must simply be read.… A complex feast.… Any of her stories is more resonant and satisfying than many a contemporary novel.… Cynthia Ozick has said of Munro, that she is our Chekhov,. But like the character Juliet, Munro does not always choose to show compassion. Like life itself, she remains neutral. So she is our Flaubert, too. We couldn’t ask for more.”
Globe and Mail, September 25, 2004 (reviewed by Claire Messud)


“It is vintage Munro, its twists of plot and intriguing characters keeping the reader riveted.… The women in these stories are all unforgettable.… She is a consummate artist, and has taken the craft of the short story to new heights.… The small communities Munro portrays represent a microcosm of our world, for the narrow-mindedness, the generosity depicted in the stories are universal.”
Winnipeg Free Press, September 26, 2004


“Forget about all of the awards and the accolades. You don’t have to read beyond Runaway, the title story of her 12th book, to gain a sense of why she is held in such esteem by critics and readers alike.… When people 100 years from now want to know the interior experience of women at the turn of the 21st century – emotionally, intellectually, psychologically and spiritually – they will find no more honest and truthful account than in the stories of Alice Munro.”
The Record (Kitchener), September 25, 2004