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Friend of My Youth

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,397 ratings  ·  163 reviews
**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

A woman haunted by dreams of her dead mother. An adulterous couple stepping over the line where the initial excitement ends and the pain begins. A widow visiting a Scottish village in search of her husband's past - and instead discovering unsettling truths about a total stranger. The ten stories in this collection not only astonis
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 5th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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Jennifer (aka EM)
Coming back to Alice Munro - she speaks to me in an entirely new way, now. Stories of adult daughters and mothers and sickness and grief; infidelities and eccentricities; stories of aging - the "sardonic droop of defeat" (Differently, p. 218). Stories of women's friendships. Stories of how life happens to people, and what they become when it does. All perfectly realized, quiet and wise, perfectly told and told completely. Captured into a form over which Munro exerts complete control, making it a ...more
Munro never disappoints. These are all wonderful stories. Though, plot-wise, my life is nothing like the stories here, I am left wondering after each story how Munro knows my inner life so well. Her grasp of human nature, her evocation of the world of her characters, all of it is astounding. The more I read of Munro, the more I am convinced of her genius.
There is a trap in the writing called “realist,” which is why I usually avoid it, but Munro is too clever to fall into it, though her mimicry is excellent. Her characters are always veiled in someone else's stories, memories, or speculations. Relationships are steered by chance, circumstance, convenience, selfishness - without losing all the painfully sentimental aspirations we tie to them. Stories brush against people and events that seem impossible to fully contain or understand. “Plots” defy ...more
Small town southern Ontario settings, ordinary people going about nothing more spectacular than living, loving, working, dying; but Alice Munro turns the seemingly mundane into glowing, jewel-like tales that reveal the ‘shameless, marvellous, shattering absurdity’ of life. Each story leaves you faintly breathless, full of wonder at how she can so smoothly pull back the curtain, reveal the essence, the core of being. What I particularly loved in this, her seventh collection, first published in 19 ...more
فن القصة القصيرة من الفنون الأدبية التى أشعر تجاهها بالذنب , فن عظيم يُبذل فيه جهد كبير ولكن لا يجد قبوله الذى يليق به عند جمهور الأدب.
المهم : هذا عمل لأديبة وُصفت فيما وُصفت ب تشيكوف العصر وأنها أحدثت ثورة فى بناء القصة القصيرة . أديبة حازت نوبل للآداب لعام 2013 .
لطالما كان أجمل الأدب أبسطه ونحن هنا أمام أدب بسيط . وصف مبسط للمشاعر الإنسانية مع عمق ظاهر يجعلك تُدرك جميع الجوانب المُرادة .
تقديم شامل للشخصيات وعرض ظريف لجوانبها .
الترجمة جيدة تدل على لغة العمل العظيمة .
مجموعة تتكون من 10 قصص قصيرة
’Amistad de juventud’ es un colección de diez relatos que bien pueden considerarse pequeñas novelas. Por las páginas de estas diez historias, transitan mujeres que rememoran su pasado y a las que vamos conociendo a través de sus sueños y deseos, así como de las decisiones que las han perfilado en lo que son en la actualidad. Una mujer que sueña con su madre muerta; una maestra que se ha de hospedar por un tiempo en casa de unos cameronianos; la aventura de una mujer casada; el viaje en barco que ...more
This lady stuns me in so many ways. She offers lessons in subtlety. Yes, brilliance can be quiet. Munro takes the past and modernizes it, rereads it with a more savvy and uncertain lens, with paradox. Themes of female sexuality, of desire, of deception (self and other), of (dis)connection, of still-present pasts, permeate this collection. No one escapes his/her history or historical contexts; individuals’ lives do not play out in a vacuum; generations are different, but it’s still complicated an ...more
snackywombat (v.m.)
Feb 01, 2008 snackywombat (v.m.) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: writers
Reading this was a long time in coming. The story "Meneseteung" that I read five years ago in the Best American Stories of the 20th Century was actually the first Alice Munro that I had come across and then over the years countless people--mainly writers--have mentioned her as a favorite. This stands to reason: Munro is a writer's writer. She spins tales; she writes real stories. Yet they have a modernism and sophistication that transcends time, place, trends, gender... everything. Her style rem ...more
Ebtihal Abuali
أحببت أسلوبها، افكار قصصها، شخصياتها (كل القصص تدور حول نساء في فترات مختلفة من العمر وفي علاقات عاطفية مختلفة، الأخت الزوجة العشيقة الام) وترسم علاقات المرأة مع المرأة. تغوص في التفاصيل لملامح المكان والشخصية لكن تقريبا في كل قصة تترك مساحة فارغة لتمتلأ بخيال القاريء.

اقتباس: "يقوض الرجل حياتك لفترة غير محدودة، ثم في يوم ما لاشيء، مجرد فراغ حيث كان، فراغ لا يعول عليه."
This book has been in my bookcase, unread, for over two decades and Ms. Munro's recent Nobel Prize win prompted me to finally open it. I found a collection of surprisingly earthy, sexual and sometimes disturbing —but believable—tales of the everyday lives of farm and small town residents in Ontario. Munro was pushing 60 when she wrote these stories but these are not the tea-cozy tales of an impending retiree. For the most part her language is incisive, astringent and rarely superfluous. Virtuall ...more
Megan Baxter
Alice Munro's short stories are always a delight to read, and Friend of My Youth is no exception. In almost every collection of hers I have read, there is a line or two of description that makes me start out of my chair and realize, yes, that perfectly describes something I have been feeling.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smor
Emily January
Alice Munro is second to none!
The experiences of Munro's characters in this collection are pretty well removed from my own. Most are women in their 50s or so, looking back on young marriages in the 50s, affairs and divorces in the 60s or 70s, visiting old friends or acquaintances after or during deaths of parents.

That said, what Munro does without fail in every story of hers I've read is capture the universal feeling of fear and excitement as your life changes and transforms, and the scarier feeling of realizing that there'
Nonostante l'ottima partenza, poi è stato sempre più un altalenante alti e bassi in cui in realtà le cime erano veramente rade.
In tutti i racconti prevale il ricordo dei tempi andati, che di solito coinvolge proprio una persona in particolare che diede un certo lustro ad un certo periodo della loro vita, anche solo per pochi giorni, come in Goodness and Mercy. Come già fatto notare da altri, il tradimento, l'isolamento e il senso di colpa sono i motivi più ricorrenti: l'atmosfera quasi assurda
Andy Miller
I enjoy reading Alice Munro collections from different times of her life, there is a difference in perspective and subject. This collection was published in 1990.

The title story, Friend of My Youth, is an example. While Munro's later stories often focus on reminscences of a narrator in her later years, this narrative is based on a story from a the narrator's mother about a year the mother spent teaching n a rural community and boarding with a Cameronian (a Mennonite type of religion that forbade
Victor Carson
I found this collection of short stories while looking for Alice Munro's new collection, which was just released this month. The stories in Friend of My Youth were copyrighted in 1990. I have read many of the author's stories but I continue to be mesmerized by her ability to reveal her characters so well that you feel sure that each of the stories really happened. A critic might say that the stories lack artistic unity and fail to leave the reader with an overall impression or a central idea. It ...more
Mariano Hortal
"Amistad de Juventud" de Alice Munro. La escritora canadiense es una de las escritoras actuales más importantes sobre todo por su narrativa breve de la que es un fiel exponente.
Este libro se trata, pues, de una serie de relatos cortos, pequeñas novelas, en las que utiliza normalmente un narrador omnisciente para narrar pequeñas joyitas. En estas historias tenemos hombres que no están mal caracterizados, pero lo verdaderamente increíble es ver la forma en que dibuja, perfila e incluso hace escult
Whoa! What's going on here? I guess I have been out of school too long because I had forgotten about the ridiculousness of short stories. Each little story, no longer than a chapter, starts developing nicely and then ends mid-sentence, with no resolution and often no conflict, plot or any other literary convention. The themes include death, infidelity and the general malaise of some depressing middle-aged folks. Each 'story' I read in this book left me stunned, gaping at the page break, wonderin ...more
Ah, Alice! Kiitos jälleen kerran. Nuoruudenystävä on kokoelma neljännesvuosisadan takaa, mutta vasta nyt suomennettu. Hienoja tarinoita, joissa pääroolissa ovat menneisyyden ihmiset, erheet ja petokset.
How is it possible I have been able to overlook Alice Munro for so long? Looking back, each story was equally strong and memorable which is hard to come by in in a collection of short stories. I have been meaning to read more collections, and part of me feels as if it was a mistake to begin with Munro because anything else may feel weak by comparison. Which Munro should I read next??
Ahmed Al-Emadi
مجموعة قصص قصيرة تملك كاتبتها قدرة كبيرة على تصوير التفاصيل. لست خبيراً في شأن القصص القصيرة لكن جميعها هنا، و إن كانت لا تفتقد للتشويق، بنهايات مفتوحة! أو قد أقول بلا نهاية واضحة.
Alma Jylhä
Hän oli juuri sellainen ihminen, jonka saattoi kuvitella istuvan yksikseen jossakin maailmankolkassa jonne ei kuulunut, ja raapustavan jotain muistikirjaansa pakokauhun torjumiseksi. Hän oli huomannut olevansa aamuisin optimistinen, paniikki iski vasta iltahämärissä. Sellainen pakokauhu, jolla ei ollut mitään tekemistä rahojen eikä matkalippujen, ei matkajärjestelyjen eikä niiden vaarojen kanssa, jotka saattaisivat vaania vieraassa paikassa. Sen täytyi liittyä jotenkin tarpeettomuuden tunteeseen ...more
Great portraits of humanity. I love Munro! Her characters are unexpected, interesting, empathic, and wonderful. I love her. Very recommended.
"Not my cup of tea" was perhaps the only opinion I had of this book. It started out so promising with the first two stories that I hoped it would continue in the same spirit. After that however the stories grew more monotonous and repetitive for me. I think it's more a matter of the audience. Being a child of immigrants who wasn't born in Canada either and grew up with a Euro-centric upbringing, I had a hard time with these stories because they began to bleed into each other and cause me to doze ...more
Nate H.
Yet another outstanding collection of short stories.
Kane Simmans
There are three stories in this collection that are obviously the weakest: "Five Points," "Hold Me Fast, Don't Let Me Pass," and "Goodness and Mercy" are all decidedly conventional. Of those three, the first two have grown in stature as I've thought about them. The last, though, is sticking in my mind for its sub-par quality. The characters leave much to be desired and the situation itself plays out like a Lifetime movie. Strangers on a boat meet. Hijinks ensue. The protagonist dreams of the mys ...more
Alice is going back on the shelf for the time being. I had pulled her down to the current reading chair table when the Nobel prize was announced.

These short stories are captivating in style if, for me, not entirely in substance. Or vice versa. Some of each.

There are a two more of her books/collections I want to delve into soon. The I think I'll be better prepared to offering a star rating.
her writing combines the obvious, clear human relationships and emotions that are written well with insight and are easy to identify with and the obscure allusion or metaphor or description which brings up obscure feelings. it lingers. the stories are full of a resigned melancholy.

edit: you know what through the first few stories i loved it and each one made me feel a strong sense of melancholy but as they've gone on I've started hating them. I can't explain why I've changed my mind so much - ma
One of the best short story collection I ever read.
This is the thirteenth Alice Munro book I've read. There are so many things I love about her work, but one that just occurred to me is that although she is so penetrating—she sees through so much, has such wisdom about human peccadilloes and deceptions—she also writes about people with such love, tenderness, and respect.
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Lectores Chapines: LIbro de Mayo: Amistad de juventud 2 11 May 30, 2014 01:54AM  
Literautas: Amistad de Juventud (marzo - mayo 2014) 1 31 Mar 14, 2014 03:19AM  
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Alice Ann Munro, née Laidlaw, is a Canadian short-story writer who is widely considered one of the world's premier fiction writers. Munro is a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction. Her stories focus on human relationships looked at through the lens of daily life. She has thus been referred to as "the Canadian Chekhov."

She is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Liter
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“People are curious. A few people are. ... They will put things together, knowing all along that they may be mistaken. You see them going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading microfilm, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.” 48 likes
“Her silent singing wrapped around the story she was telling herself, which she extended further every night on the deck. (Averill often told herself stories-- the activity seemed to her as unavoidable as dreaming.) Her singing was a barrier set between the world in her head and the world outside, between her body and the onslaught of the stars.” 1 likes
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