Riel Nason’s The Town that Drowned (2011)


Nothing really happens. Here, the "main event is simply a view of the water". So Ruby's story should not be a page-turner. But, in fact, The Town that Drowned is a coming-of-age story with a curious momentum. No single element is responsible: character and voice, setting and structure, all work

Riel Nason’s The Town that Drowned (2011)2016-11-10T10:58:28-05:00

“Wigtime” Alice Munro


One might say that Margot was playing Barbara's game of "Apples and Oranges", choosing between a nice house and a fresh start. 1990; Penguin, 1991 But if one said too much about Margot's choice, spoilers about "Wigtime" would wriggle into the discussion. Margot has made choices, indeed, but

“Wigtime” Alice Munro2014-07-11T17:16:11-05:00

“Differently” Alice Munro


Alice Munro is capable of spinning readers away from the salient detail of Austin's death in a story like "Pictures of the Ice". 1990; Penguin, 1991 Yet, she is equally capable of writing an opening which cannot be set aside and which demands rereading as the story unfolds,

“Differently” Alice Munro2014-07-11T17:16:22-05:00

“Oh, What Avails” Alice Munro


Remember when "Gravel", in Dear Life, had readers considering the way that life can shift beneath one's feet, like an aggregation of water-worn stones readjusting? 1990; Penguin, 1991 This story has one considering the formation of frazil ice, the way that loose and randomly shaped ice-crystals can form

“Oh, What Avails” Alice Munro2014-07-11T17:16:31-05:00

“Goodness and Mercy” Alice Munro


This title recalls Barbara's "Oranges and Apples" game, the idea of having to choose between two things. 1990; Penguin, 1991 It also echoes Anne having asked Matthew, en route to Green Gables: "Which would you rather be if you had the choice--divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically

“Goodness and Mercy” Alice Munro2014-07-11T17:16:42-05:00
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