Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Alice Munro’s Stories

Beginning in 2011, I started to read/re-read all of Alice Munro’s short stories in their collected form.

Please feel free to check the schedule and join in, for the series, or for a single story.

Sometimes the posts (particularly early in the project) have only a couple of quotes from each story and brief reading notes about the experience of reading them

Other times there is more of a concrete analysis of the story and its inner workings. (But the analysis is never very detailed because I keep the discussion spoiler-free.)

Sometimes I refer to outside sources, and other times other readers do that in the comments.

Dance of the Happy Shades 1968
Walker Brothers Cowboy; The Shining Houses; Images
Thanks for the ride; The Office; An Ounce of Cure
The Time of Death; Day of the Butterfly; Boys and Girls
Postcard; Red Dress – 1946; Sunday Afternoon 
A Trip to the Coast; The Peace of Utrecht; Dance of the Happy Shades

Lives of Girls and Women  1971
The Flats Road; Heirs of the Living Body
Princess Ida; Age of Faith
Changes and Ceremonies; Lives of Girls and Women
Baptizing; Epilogue: The Photographer

Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You  1974
Something I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You; Material
How I Met My Husband;  Walking on Water; Forgiveness in Families
Tell Me Yes or No; The Found Boat; Executioners; Marrakesh
The Spanish Lady; Winter Wind; Memorial; The Ottawa Valley

Who Do You Think You Are? (The Beggar Maid) 1977
Royal Beatings 
Half a Grapefruit
Wild Swans
The Beggar Maid
Simon’s Luck
Who Do You Think You Are?

The Moons of Jupiter  1982
Chaddeleys and Flemings 1. Connection 2. The Stone in the Field
The Turkey Season
Bardon Bus
Labor Day Dinner
Mrs Cross and Mrs Kidd
Hard-Luck Stories
The Moons of Jupiter

The Progress of Love  1986
The Progress of Love
Monsieur les Deux Chapeaux
Miles City, Montana
The Moon in the Orange Street Skating Rink
Jesse And Meribeth
A Queer Streak
Circle of Prayer
White Dump

Dear Life  2012
To Reach Japan
Leaving Maverley
Random House, 2012Haven
In Sight of the Lake
The Eye
Dear Life

Friend of My Youth  1990
Friend of My Youth
Five Points
Hold Me Fast, Don’t Let Me Pass
Oranges and Apples
Pictures of the Ice
Goodness and Mercy
Oh, What Avails

1994; Penguin, 2007


Open Secrets  1994
Carried Away
A Real Life
The Albanian Virgin
Open Secrets
The Jack Randa Hotel
A Wilderness Station
Spaceships Have Landed

The Love of a Good Woman  1998

The Love of a Good Woman
Cortes Island
Save the Reaper
Love Good Woman MunroThe Children Stay
Rich as Stink
Before the Change
My Mother’s Dream

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage 2001
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Floating Bridge
Family Furnishings
Post and Beam
What Is Remembered
The Bear Came Over the Mountain (Film “Away from Her”)

Runaway 2004

The View from Castle Rock 2006
No Advantages
The View from Castle Rock
The Wilds of Morris Township
Working for a Living
Lying Under the Apple Tree
Hired Girl
The Ticket
What Do You Want to Know For?

Too Much Happiness 2009
Wenlock Edge
Free Radicals
Some Women
Child’s Play
Too Much Happiness



11 comments to Alice Munro’s Stories

  • I would love to join you in reading through Alice Munro! I’ve only read Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage and absolutely fell in love with her and vowed to read everything by her. I haven’t followed up on it but this would be a good opportunity to start. Would it be okay to just read whatever, whenever? Thanks!

    • Yes, of course, Claire: just one story, a collection, whatever works. (I know that I typed a response to your comment ages ago…I don’t know what happened to it, I’m sorry!) I haven’t read HFCLM actually, so that will be a fresh read for me next year…

  • Angela Hall

    I love this idea and I love Alice Munro stories! I can’t believe I haven’t cottoned on to this before. I kept “caught up” with everything AM up to and including Runaway. I don’t know what happened to me after 2004 but I haven’t yet read The View from Castle Rock or Too Much Happiness or Dear Life yet. So I’m going to jump on board now (I won’t wait until you get to those three.) I’ll reread The Love of a Good Woman and hopefully I can keep up with your pace while reading all of the other things I’ve got going on. Also: do you have a Goodreads profile? I’m AngelaLaughing (on GR and on Twitter)

    • Oh, hello! Lovely to see you here and I do hope you can jump on board. It’s only one story a week, but even if that pace is too heavy with all the other reading you’re doing, you could just randomly pick the odd story to join in with. I’ve “lost track” with some favourite authors that way too, and it’s hard to explain why it happens. I suppose part of it is that, if they aren’t a real favourite, I’d just pick up whatever was new, but once I’ve made a different kind of commitment in my mind to their work, it doesn’t feel right to leave a gap, so then it becomes about finding time to read a string of books rather than just one.

  • I am only finding this now, but I think it’s a wonderful idea. Right now you’re on Hateship etc., which I have read but it was a while ago now. However, I’ll be interested in following along to hear what you have to say!

    • I’m sorry I missed this comment, Naomi. And, by now, I’ve just finished Runaway (the last post will be next week) and am about pull Castle Rock off the shelf. Do you think she could be your ‘M’ choice for your reading project? Or are you trying to target ‘new-to-you’ authors for that?

  • Angela H.

    Are we taking a break before The View from Castle Rock? I’d like to keep up with you but I see no dates on the stories. I’ll keep checking your site here. : ) But in the mean time, I’m reading other short stories anyway!

    • I’ve only read the first story in Castle Rock and I’m not planning to post on it in August. Maybe in September some double-whammy-Munro-weekends instead? I’ll email you when I update the dates here so that you don’t need to keep checking the page. Thanks, A!

  • Angela H.

    But I check the page anyway…for all the other posts! : ) But yes, I’ll watch for an email like a horse at the starting gate. In the meantime I’m very much enjoying my short stories for breakfast project (September but I started early…) and watching for the long lists of the major Canadian awards.

  • Angela H.

    Still watching your site for signs of the Alice Munro project. I’m very SLOWLY reading View from Castle Rock because I’m not enjoying it very much (yet.) I see you’ve got lots of other great book posts though!

    • Doh: I put it in the sticky post on the home page! This week is all about contemporary fiction collections and then I’m heading back to Munro country, tidying up a couple of lingering stories and then beginning Castle in earnest. But, yes, you’re right: other books, other reading…all good stuff on the page.

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