300 short stories: story 283

story: “Train”

author: Alice Munro

year: 2012

where: post-Flywheel, Social House (terrible breakfast)

note: “I have never kept diaries. I just remember a lot and am more self-centered than most people,” from an interview with Alice Munro about the book. This story went in places I did not expect it to go.

a line:  “She had caught the terrible flu of 1918 in which so many people died, and when she came out of it she was strange. Not really mute, because she could make words, but had lost many of them.”

theme(s): Post-WWII, trains, small towns, country vs. city, running away


300 short stories: story 282

story: “To Reach Japan”

author: Alice Munro

year: 2012

where: Starbucks, Festival City

note: I picked up this book for only 39 dirhams–Dear Life–and the writing is so good, so much denser than what I’ve been reading, books by younger contemporary female writers, mostly. Her style (as well as the font) reminds me of the Maeve Binchy books of my childhood.

a line:  “In the decade that they had already entered but that she at least had not taken much notice of, there was going to be a lot of attention paid to this sort of thing. Being there was to mean something it didn’t use to mean.”

theme(s): Adultery, feminism, marriage, writing life, mothers and daughters, trains

100 days 100 short stories:: story 41

story: Leaving Maverly 

author: Alice Munro

year: 2011

where: kitchen table, before dinner

note: a story I’ve started four times, a story I’ve been interrupted while reading three times

a line: “There was something in her, he told Isabel, something that made her want to absorb whatever you said to her, instead of just being thrilled or mystified by it.”