who do you think you are?
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who do you think you are?

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,731 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Introduction by Wayne Johnston

The stories:
Royal Beatings
Half a Grapefruit
Wild Swans
The Beggar Maid
Simon's Luck
Who do you think you are?
Published by Penguin Group (first published 1977)
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In a review of the Selected Stories that functioned as herald, Updike spoke of “a well-mediated complexity and multiplicity of plot, an intense clarity of phrase and image, an exceptional psychological searchingness and honesty,” “a grittiness…and a bold reach”—promises of pleasure I retained, and recalled over time, until circumstances (fatigue with the fiction I was reading, ambitious browsing in a store that carried a quantity of Munro) placed The Beggar Maid in hand. And it’s wonderful. Thes...more
What is there to say about Alice Munro? She is the consummate artist, the supreme master of the short story form. Incomparable in her complexity: the sudden rush of surprising juxtapositions, the dip of a yawning vision of the abyss, the gurgle of delightful humour, the vibrant pleasure of recognition, that moment when you say yes, yes, of course.

This collection, subtitled Stories of Flo and Rose, was first published in 1977. The stories are more or less chronologically arranged and follow Rose...more
In these ten inter-connected stories of Rose and Flo, Alice Munro explores the universal story of growing up; the question of identity, of resilience, and of escape – with a difference, of course, because this is Alice Munro, the Canadian author of too many awards to mention. In June, 2009 she won the Man Booker International Prize.

After reading daughter Sheila Munro’s memoir http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31663, I decided to reread Who Do You Think You Are? (titled: The Beggar Maid: Storie...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five

I hate Flo, and dislike Rose, and can think of no possible reason for anyone to read more than the Pearl Rule requires or the first three stories, whichever comes first in your edition.

The entire unkind review is on my blog, Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
La Munro ormai è una delle mie certezze letterarie. Anche questa volta dopo "Nemico,Amico,Amante" Alice non mi ha delusa.

Solo che da "Who Do You Think You Are?" mi sono sentita colpita più da vicino...

In queste dieci storie (che in realtà storie poi non sembrano ,legate come sono dalle varie tappe della vita della protagonista, somigliano più a capitoli di uno stesso romanzo) si segue la crescita e la maturazione di Rose su cui "incombe" sempre la figura della matrigna Flo..

Rose è cresciuta nel...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Sometimes I watch singing contests (like the American Idol) on tv and see good singers lose because they would commit the unfortunate mistake of choosing the wrong songs to sing. I cannot say here that Alice Munro chose the wrong plot, or that the story does not suit her. I do not know what would have suited her. I can see, however, that she's a very good writer although the story here (short STORIES, really, but made into one cohesive novel because of the commonality of characters in each of th...more
La sensazione che mi procura la maggior parte dei racconti di Alice Munro, essere collocati in un tempo eterno, non moderno, men che meno contemporaneo, deriva molto probabilmente dal fatto che sono in gran quantità ambientati in quella parte del Canada definita Sowesto (la contea di Huron, nel sudovest dell’Ontario), dove gli esseri umani sembrano saperla più lunga della terra e essere lì da più tempo degli alberi e dei fiumi, e dove chi vuole sapere più cose, leggere più d...more
Terribilmente interessante, più per la narrazione che per la storia in sé.

Non è una raccolta di racconti interconnessi; è un romanzo, puro e semplice. Certo, è narrato in maniera un po' anticonvenzionale, ma il fatto che Alice Munro sia pubblicizzata come la regina canadese del racconto breve non rende ogni sua opera un'antologia.
E non è la storia di Rose e Flo; è la storia di Rose. Con dentro un po' di Flo.

È la storia di Rose - debole, egoista, crudele, terrorizzata.
Forse delicata, forse amorev...more
I decided to read a work by Alice Munro purely because she won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. I came in with modest expectations, since there are many past winners who I'm no admirer of. Sadly, even those were not met.

The book follows Rose, a girl growing up in severe poverty in the small Canadian country town of Hanratty and desiring more. Flo is her hard-working, flawed step-mother, who appears later on, but largely dominates the first third of the book. Each chapter has its own su...more
Questo secondo approccio alla Munro mi ha un po’ delusa, rispetto a “Nemico, amico, amante …”. Scritto indubbiamente bene, questo libro, che può essere considerato un romanzo composto da racconti oppure racconti che finiscono per essere un romanzo (tipo “Olive Kitteridge”, di Elizabeth Strout, tanto per intenderci), non mi ha del tutto soddisfatta. Rose, Flo e gli altri personaggi, seguiti per un arco di tempo discontinuo, non arrivano a definirsi con l’immediatezza che mi aspettavo e che la pre...more
Don't tell anyone, but I've never read any Alice Munro. I know, I know. All of my bookish friends love her -- even the ones who generally avoid anything written by women -- so this isn't a confession made lightly. I've meant to find something of hers for a while now, but it just never happened. There are so many books and so many writers that I want to read that things usually just have to bubble to the top for me to take notice.

Confession, The Sequel: I haven't been reading much of anything la...more
I percorsi dei treni Il treno che attraversava le montagne subì molti ritardi a causa di una fitta nevicata. L'acqua gelò. Il convoglio fu costretto a lunghe soste in piccole stazioni, avvolto da nuvole di vapore prodotte dalle operazioni di scongelamento delle tubature. Si infilarono addosso i vestiti per uscire e scesero a correre sulla pensilina del binario. Rose disse: - Ti devo comprare un giaccone invernale. E degli stivali che tengano caldo -. Per i tetri inverni costieri un paio di stiva...more
Who doesn't love Alice Munro! I feel like quite a heel only giving this book three stars but it just didn't grab me. It's written as a series of short stories following the relationship between a girl/woman and her stepmother. Its very, um, earthy. It starts when Rose is a child as she grows up in total poverty. Her father had married Flo when Rose was very young and they move into the apartment behind Flo's store. Flo has installed indoor plumbing but the toilet is in a closet in the kitchen so...more
Elizabeth A
The copy of the book I read is so old that the note on the type states: This book was set via computer-driven cathode-ray tubes in ELECTRA .... Copyright 1977, 1978. Seems like the dinosaurs were roaming the earth back then no?

But I digress. I read this book for book cub, and while I have read other books by the author, I cannot recall which ones. What has stayed with me, and what this book confirmed, is that she has a wonderful writing style, and can keenly capture the essence of a situation. T...more
Some of the most beautiful writing I have read recently. I kept having that feeling you get when you read a really gorgeous sentence or paragraph or scene and you just think, "WOW," and want to put it in your pocket and remember it forever. One of the critics' comments on the back of my copy used the phrase "psychological precision" and I don't think I could really put it any better. One of my favorite things about it was how it captured a person's feelings toward the people in the margins of th...more
A surprising book. A book mainly about characters - people - and they way they, (or we), intertwine with one another throughout their lives. A wonderful read, especially for anyone from a small town, or who was brought up in a small, close neighborhood. In these stories I see reflections of the people I lived with and grew up with. There are expressions that are the same or similar perhaps in every town, such as, 'she's no better than she should be,' and though perhaps expressed in different wor...more
Tags/Categories: 1001 Books, women writers, Canadian literature, short stories
Source: library book
Why: BOTM 1001 Book February 2014, Bingo (short stories)

This is another book of short stories by Canadian author and recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for literature. Ms Munro writes this feminist work about Flo (the stepmother) and Ruth (the stepdaughter). The stories are all loosely connected and march through life stages of Ruth. In the beginning Flo is a big part, then Ruth is married, has a dau...more
In this most canadian of books (a gift from @bluelephant), Munro wields her somber, solemn prose as if she were slowly swinging a heavy lead pipe: sometimes she misses, but when she connects you'll be knocked out for good. I very much appreciate that Munro opens a door to woman's mind in a way that I've never seen before, even if men are made of straw and friends are empty sprites. Something else that I liked about this book is that sex is this unfortunate happenstance which life pokes you with...more
Ahh, this was amazing, to experience Munro's amazing talent for capturing pivotal moments in a life, and to see those moments over the lifetime of two women and how they capture everything that is important. Munro does seem to partake of the postmodern obsession with dysfunctional families and failed marriages, which is sad. It is a bit ironic and unfortunate that these writers have such masterful insight into people and their motivations and the parts of themselves that they try to conceal, yet...more
Simone Subliminalpop
La particolarità: l'unica raccolta di Alice Munro avvicinabile alla forma romanzo, essendo che i racconti qui presenti riguardano tutti principalmente la figura di Rose e la sua storia, dall'infanzia alla vita adulta.
La costante: la solita abilità eccelsa della Munro nello scrivere e nel raccontare.
Tra gli episodi migliori: “Botte da re”, “Mezzo pompelmo”, “La Mendicante” e “Lettera per lettera”.

I gave attention to Munro's literature when she won a Nobel Prize. Heard that some people call her a Canadian Czekhov. After reading Stories of Flow and Rose I can't agree with that opinion . Russian author wrote amazing and interesting books and Munro's creation it's awfully dull.
First of all I don't like main character. Reader meets Rose when she's young and see her grow. The girl is real pain in the neck ; full of herself, grumpy, cynical,bossy and dishonest. Seriously I couldn't find any p...more
Giovanna De Sabbata
Rose è, “pirandellianamente” parlando, una che si guarda vivere. È consapevole del suo sforzo per interpretare dei ruoli, per nascondersi dietro a un atteggiamento studiato o a delle parole ben meditate. Nei suoi racconti ha sempre “il ruolo di una testimone distaccata e superiore”. Mai compromettersi. Mai svelarsi. Non a caso, di mestiere fa l'attrice. È un'attrice fin da bambina, quando cerca di imitare i modi di fare di una ragazza molto popolare nella sua scuola, o si atteggia a donna vissut...more
(3.5) I can finally understand why people talk about Alice Munro's books with reverence: she is a masterfully fluid, humane, and eloquent writer. This particular one struck me as a fabulous and accurate guidebook for any alien visiting our planet who wants to gain insight into quietly dysfunctional family relationships and the far-reaching effects they have on us as adults. I will read more of Munro's work.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
It was hard to decide between 4 and 5 stars on this one, so I may be feeling a bit generous. The Beggar Maid is a collection of short stories, most of which were previously published. We follow Rose from her childhood of poverty to an adulthood when she can provide for her needs. We see life through her eyes, but mostly feel life as she moves through it. This is my first Alice Munro, it will not be my last.
She really is skilled. While each story can certainly stand alone, I love the rhythm she created through this novelistic progression.

Is it odd that I imagined many of these stories to take place in the South, despite their clear locality in various Canadian towns?

There were many moments when I lamented how ubiquitous adultery seems to be in realistic fiction... and real life, I suppose.

Often though, I paused and smiled at some clever and resonant lines and images. A few:

"What made you wanted wa...more
This is a selection for one of my book groups and initially, I was not happy as I am not a short story fan. I have several volumes on my shelves and have read pieces from each, but I really struggle to enjoy them. When I first started The Beggar Maid, I was struggling with Alice Munro's style which included a lot of reminiscing and details. I was looking for more action. By the third story, I was hooked on the story of Flo and her step-daughter Rose who are from a small town. This series of inte...more
Stories more of Rose than Flo. I've read this one before but enjoyed it again the second time. Alice Munro is the bomb.com. Every time I finish one of her stories I am so moved that I need to immediately begin the next. She's awesome.
Carmen Martino
Although Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I did not love this book. Munro is a very good writer but I found that it was almost mandatory somehow, that the entire book be dark, depressing, empty, and hopeless. There was never any glimmer of hope that may have made the book more compelling. I'd like to read any of Munro's other books, perhaps a more recently written one, to see if this is her style in general or particular to this title. Maybe I'm just not getting it? I don't see wh...more
“Rose gets lonely in new places; she wishes she had invitations. She goes out and walks the streets and looks in the lighted windows at all the Saturday-night parties, the Sunday-night family suppers. It’s no good telling herself she wouldn’t be long inside there, chattering and getting drunk, or spooning up the gravy, before she’d wish she was walking the streets. She thinks she could take on any hospitality. She could go to parties in rooms hung with posters, lit by lamps with Coca-Cola shades...more
The Beggar Maid was really captivating. For once, the main character, Rose, is no damsel in distress who helplessly falls in love and has her entire life revolving around 'her man'.
This so-called love story deviates entirely from the norm, and I like it.

The Beggar Maid tells us the story of Rose and Patrick, who are both contrasts of each other and have a very different relationship. Patrick is in love with Rose from the start, and he tries to confirm her love for him by continuously asking if...more
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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...more
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