I am so happy. It's school vacation time, and I'm tearing through books again (after having faced a drought almost the entire year). This one probably warrants a much more leisurely pace than I've adopted with it.
There are 10 short stories in this collection, and my favourite is, predictably, 'Fiction', which is about a couple whose marriage falls apart. Not much time is spent on the disintegration though; more surprising is the inclusion of the plot of a story written by the daughter of the interloper. 'Deep-Holes' and 'Free Radicals' are well-paced, dramatic pieces.
Munro is much more brutal in this collection than I seem to remember her having been in previous collections. There is crime, discrimination, violence. Her girls and women are found hidden in the mysteries of Douglas firs, under blankets of snow - everything that is Canadian. They are alternately vulnerable and cruel, yet they retain a deep capacity for joy.
Munro, like LeGuin, had better be sticking around a lot longer. Grrr.