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Lives of Mothers & Daughters: Growing Up With Alice Munro

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
“So much of what I think I know – and I think I know more about my mother’s life than almost any daughter could know – is refracted through the prism of her writing. Such is the power of her fiction that sometimes it even feels as though I’m living inside an Alice Munro story.”

The millions of people around the world who read Alice Munro’s work are enthralled by her insight
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 24th 2001 by McClelland & Stewart (first published January 1st 2001)
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Sep 22, 2009 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Alice Munro
It must have taken a lot of courage to write this memoir. I think most writers would concede that writing is difficult enough, but when one’s mother is The Alice Munro, it must have been excruciatingly tough to do. Can you imagine carving out a niche for yourself if she was your mother? This in itself, to me, warrants a higher rating than I might ordinarily give.

Lives of Mothers & Daughters: Growing Up with Alice Munro is definitely more about Sheila Munro than it is about her mother. Yet w
Apr 12, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it
I discovered Alice Munro this past winter and once I found her I've wanted to read all of her stories. Though I love her writing I often have issues with the way children are treated in her stories. I've wanted to get into her head and understand why the children are often dismissed by the adults in their lives. So I was most interested to read this memoir by her daughter Sheila. I would not give this book 4 stars for the writing - and the construction is rather clunky. But the insight to ...more
Gord Higginson
Apr 01, 2011 Gord Higginson rated it it was amazing
My favourite book about Alice Munro, written by her eldest daughter. Loaded with photos (about 75 family snapshots) and interesting anecdotes about the stories behind the stories. "Miles City, Montana"--one of my favourite Munro yarns, for example--was based on a real and almost calamatous (sp?) event in the Munro family history--the near-drowning of Alice's middle daughter, Jenny, in Miles City, Montana. Not as exhaustive or as scholarly as Thacker's massive bio of Munro, but still good fun, ...more
May 10, 2010 Jean rated it it was amazing
Alice Munro is absolutely my favorite short story writer, a master of the craft. This memoir by her eldest daughter not only provides interesting background on her mother's life, but shows that considerable talent was passed down. I found this very well written and refreshingly candid, not just a biography, but a personal memoir as well. It also demonstrates that the pressures on women trying to find a balance between self-realization and the needs of family are with us today in many ways just ...more
Sep 16, 2008 Kelley rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: serious Alice Munro fans
Shelves: biography
You should only read this book if you are a serious Alice Munro fan -- and I am. It is otherwise not especially interesting, except for the occasional insights about Munro's unhappiness or her sense that she was awkward, an outsider, not well understood -- mostly because she spent a childhood fantasizing about being a celebrity.

Sheila Munro is not a difficult writer, just an uninspired one. She struggles, finally, at the end of the book to say what is really on her mind, why she is _really_ writ
Chris Gager
Jan 26, 2016 Chris Gager rated it liked it
Got this from the library finally and started last night even though I'm still reading Comanche Moon. So far it's only OK but it's dealing with the author's little-girlhood, a time when she wouldn't necessarily have a lot of interesting things to say about her mother. Still... there are interesting tidbits, including the apparent ambivalence of AM about having children at all. She was a super-smarty(i.e a genius) coming out of high school and heading to college on a scholarship. Still, her ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Stella rated it liked it
I read this because, like many others, I am a Alice Munro devotee. However, I was not disappointed like some of the other readers. How much about a person's life do we really need to know? I feel that this book was snippets of Alice and Sheila's lives...much like Alice's writings is snippets of other people's lives. I learned a bit of backstory, and enough of Alice's life story to remain interested, and not end up jaded or feel as if I knew too much.
As others have said, this is best suited for super serious Alice Munro fans who want to know more about her background, writing process, and private life. Interesting to hear it through her daughter's eyes; how an event got morphed into a situation in one of Alice's books, and what it was like growing up in Alice's shadow.
Oct 12, 2008 Laurie rated it really liked it
I read Alice Munro's daughter's memoir of her mother at the same time as I read A View from Castle Rock, Alice's semi-fictional collection of stories based on her own life and that of her ancestors. It's interesting to note the parallels. I'd recommend reading these in tandem.
Jan 22, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, canlit
Interesting biography of Canadian writer Alice Munro by her daughter, Sheila Munro; growing up with Alice. The special thing about this book is that my wife arranged for a signed copy of the book, surprisingly, Sheila delivered it to us personally... Lovely present.
Sep 20, 2010 Sonja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. I especially enjoyed it after just reading one of Alice Munro's books. Her daughter is a fine writer - one reallys gets the feeling of Alice and her family.
Feb 07, 2016 Abby rated it it was ok
Sheila Munro may be Alice Munro's daughter, but her memoir of growing up in this family lacks the insight or details for which her mother became famous.
Sheila gives us a 'behind the scenes' look at the life of Alice Munro, and how her biography shaped her writing. Interesting. Nothing too surprising or world-view changing.
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Jan 25, 2008
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