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So are these stories related thematically, Danielle? Or is the 'progress of love' part something the reader has to work to dig out of the narratives? I think Munro has written short stories that together form a sort of disparate narrative. The View from Castle Rock was all about her ancestors and her own upbringing (and fascinating!). I wasn't sure if all her collections had underlying themes?


This sounds very god again. It reminded me of my childhood and teenage friendships, they were somehow different from those nowadays. More intense but also more easily over.


That's what I am trying to figure out--how they are connected. And I think there is a "progress of love" of some sort in each story. When I get through them all I'm going to have to go back and look at my posts and see how the progress manifests itself in each story. I think the Beggar Maid is also made up of connected stories about one character, which I am looking forward to reading. I'd like to read more about her and how she works--which is something I am not usually all that interested in with writers who are working today.


I had some very close friends growing up though sadly I have lost contacted now with all of them. Of course I don't think I am at all the same now as I was then and so as adults we likely would not have anything in common. Interesting to think about. Exactly as you say--intense for a short while but then easy to discard really.


What an interesting story about friendship. I am sure we have all had a close childhood friend from whom we've split either through drift or an argument. Is it me or are there not many stories written about such friendships?

Buried In Print

The Beggar Maid (also titled Who Do You Think You Are?) and The Lives of Girls and Women are consciously and deliberately linked, with a single character revisited throughout the collections. Some of her other collections contain more than one story about the same character(s). But this one isn't linked in the same way. Still, the theme is revisited, and it's been a delight to tease it out of these stories, hasn't it?

Buried In Print

I really did think that the story was about MaryBeth all the way along but, then, as I finished, I realized that it was really saying so much more about Jessie herself. That's what I really love about these stories; I enjoy them on first reading, but they nearly always leave me wanting to re-read and, when I submit, I find them just as rewarding (and sometimes in seemingly contrasting ways) on re-reading. So good.


I didn't realize that The Lives of Girls and Women was really linked stories. I read it years ago, but I probably didn't even notice. It is one I definitely am looking forward to rereading. It is fun trying to see the connection between stories and the theme--I've not been thinking about it so much until I saw your most recent post and the comments that followed. Will have to think about the collection as a whole when I finish.


Reading her stories makes me curious to know how Munro works. Does she know what the outcome is as she's writing? Does she work from an outline? They are so well thought out yet they feel really organic, too, like it's all a natural progression from start to finish. I have a feeling that with every read you might come to a slightly different conclusion. I should really read once quick for story and then again slower for meaning. Oh to have so much reading time!

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