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Friend of My Youth

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  2,001 ratings  ·  129 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...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 5th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

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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.
Munro’s stories often span the break between the prewar and the postwar. On the one hand there lingers a world where daughters and mothers bond over cuts of laced velvet dresses and car is a fantastic invention heretofore unseen. Turn a page and plump wives in sunglasses and cheap wigs rent vans to stalk on their cheating husbands and professors sleep with their students entranced by the haze of sexual revolution. It might be having witnessed such changes that has tinged Munro's writing with del...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
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...more
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'...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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.
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.
Kinda boring. Well-written, but each tale of domesticity and humdrum-ity fell flat for me after the first two stories. Just too much husbands and wives and domestic ho-hum. I understand there's plenty under the surface there, but I GOT BORED, YO. I actually stopped reading with 100 pages left. Onward!
This was my first Alice Munro collection, and it certainly won't be my last. Each story took me into a completely different world, filled with complex, fully conceived characters. She's really a master of the form. And short stories make perfect before-bed reading!
Marissa Stapley
Apples and Oranges was the highlight of this collection for me! But, as always, it was impossible to pick a favourite. I really related to the themes of love and relationships and marital unrest and familial duty in these stories. Inspiring and beautiful!
I have never been big on short stories, preferring to spend my reading time on long novels that I can become involved with for a while, even feeling a bit sad when I finish and can no longer look forward to the next pages of that work. Short stories have always seemed to be, well, too short for me to become absorbed in the tale.

This all changed when I decided to read the works of Alice Munro, a Canadian writer of short stories who was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her story collect...more
I thought it was really boring. Although very well written, non of the stories affected me in any way. Maybe when I'm older.
Alice Munro is a straight up G. If you don't like her, you're probably a bad person.
Peggy Walt
these stories are absolutely astonishing!!
== The mysteries of the female ethos ==

This collection of ten of Alice Munro’s short stories was first published in 1990, republished seventeen years later. I took an interest in Munro’s writing after she was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 2013. Like most short stories they exist for a short time in the reader’s life. Some cast a spell, some leave a hunger for more and some are very forgettable. Munro is a master of the genre. She surprises readers by using different styles of writing...more
Vivian Valvano
I've read and loved individual stories by Munro before, but never a whole collection (I shamefacedly admit). Prompted by her winning the Nobel Prize, I am rectifying this deficiency in my reading tally. This collection is wonderful. I love how Munro probes the inner lives of so many fascinating women characters; I love how she provides so much information about life in parts of Canada and in Scotland; I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how she handles time - not using conventional flashbacks, but narrating her...more
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Lectores Chapines: LIbro de Mayo: Amistad de juventud 2 7 May 30, 2014 01:54AM  
Literautas: Amistad de Juventud (marzo - mayo 2014) 1 30 Mar 14, 2014 03:19AM  
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(Arabic: أليس مونرو)
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...more
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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.” 46 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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