Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dear Life” as Want to Read:
Dear Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dear Life

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  27,916 ratings  ·  3,439 reviews
Alice Munro captures the essence of life in her brilliant new collection of stories. Moments of change, chance encounters, the twist of fate that leads a person to a new way of thinking or being: the stories in Dear Life build to form a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life can be.

Many of these stories are grounded in Munro's home terr
...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published October 3rd 2013 by Vintage (first published September 19th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dear Life, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Diane No. Munro won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013 for her life work.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,916 ratings  ·  3,439 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Manny
I had never read any Alice Munro, and I find it's difficult to say anything sensible about her. Obviously, the stories are very good. (She just won the Nobel Prize. Duh). But what's most impressive is that she doesn't seem to be doing anything in particular. With some writers, it's easy to understand why they're so highly regarded. Take Vladimir Nabokov. I look at his brilliantly constructed sentences, his cleverly ambiguous allusions, his breathtakingly unexpected metaphors, and I sigh: ah, I w ...more
Nicholas Sparks
This new collection pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken or a simple twist of fate. These are terrific stories by an amazing talent, a writer so good I learn something new with every story.
Rowena
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-lit
I’m always careful not to fall victim to popular opinion when reading any book, especially one by such an acclaimed and beloved writer as Alice Munro. I tried to forget the fact that Munro had only recently won the Nobel prize for fiction. This is only my second Munro so maybe I’m not the best judge of her work but I did find this collection very enjoyable.

I find that with Munro it’s the little details. Her stories are everyday stories of everyday people living mainly in small-town Canada, peopl
...more
Kalliope
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


DEAR WRITING


It is reassuring to see that the Nobel Prize for literature went recently to someone who writes so clearly and so unpretentiously.

I am not much of a reader of short stories. Shifting from one to the next is always anticlimactic. And often their being grouped in one particular volume is also contrived. This is the case with this collectioin. Most of these stories were first published at different dates in various literary magazines (Granta, Harper’s, Tin House...).

The settings are v
...more
Susan Tekulve
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Alice Munro's books, I rushed out to buy this newest collection, and then I rushed home, eager to plunge into it. I am an ardent fan of Alice Munro's work, and I think this collection is good, better than good. The most breathtaking, full and energetic of the short stories in this collection is "Amundsen." It takes place in a TB sanatarium near a remote town in Northern Canada. The story is about a young woman who takes a job teaching the children in the sanatarium and, eventually ...more
Carmen
Apr 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely no one
Story 1: To Reach Japan
A story about a woman who's determined to have an affair.

Now, I don't condone affairs. But sometimes I can understand them, e.g. Addicted by Zane. But here, no reason is given for Greta cheating. And it doesn't seem to matter who she's cheating with: any available and interested man will do. So it's not “love” affairs she's having.

My educated guess about why Greta is cheating on her husband is that she's bored. She's a poet who works from home and she has a small child.

The
...more
Nandakishore Varma
You know, I have been trying to put my finger on what exactly makes Alice Munro so fascinating. Her writing is without frills - she does not use flowery language or dazzling metaphors. Her stories can be read by any schoolkid without referring a dictionary. Ms. Munro does not write about extraordinary events; her characters are middle class men and women of Canada, going about their humdrum lives. It is Ernest Hemingway plus Jane Austen.

The first story sort of had me saying: "Is this the Nobel P
...more
brian
alice munro - great contemporary writer and bigtime oxymoron* - has a new collection coming out nov 13, just 3 days after i'm to be married. which is great as i'm expecting to be all reflective and nostalgic but also forward-looking and hopeful, a mishmash of sentiment and emotion and whatnot; which works out as nobody conjures up all that conflicting crap better than munro.

so, a few days after the wedding, we head down to del mar and, our first night walking the main drag of the tiny seaside t
...more
Ty
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a writer myself, and within the last two years or so have begun to concentrate a bit more on writing short fiction.

To write is to read, as they say, and I have made an effort to read more short fiction. Many people, from members of my writing group, to lecturers I've listened to, to writers of articles on the subject I have read have advised the same thing; read Alice Munro.

"Perfect. Masterful. Genius. Epitome of what a short story should be today." All of these are accolades heaped upon Mun
...more
Fionnuala



Dear Alice,

What a good investment you've turned out to be.
A little girl growing up in rural Canada in the early twentieth century, far from the turmoil experienced by your contemporaries in Europe, you nevertheless created several lifetimes’ worth of unique stories from the limited resources you were given.
I watched while you observed every detail of your rural existence, filing away images and experiences for future use like some Canadian Picasso accumulating a studio full of junk which one f
...more
FeReSHte
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, canada, short-story
حقیقت اینه که آدم خوندن داستان کوتاه نیستم. نه که نخونم ! می خونم ولی شاید با شوق سمتش نرم و انتظار نداشته باشم تاثیری به ماندگاری داستان بلند روی من داشته باشه و البته استثنا کم نیست. یکی از این استثناها "آلیس مونرو" ی دوست داشتنیه. داستان ها عموما در شهر کوچک یا دهکده ای در کانادای کمی بعد از جنگ جهانی دوم می گذرند و معمولا هم زندگی زنان و دختران دست مایه اصلی آثار مونروست که به نظرم همین به پیوستگی حس کتاب و تداوم تاثیرش روی خواننده کمک می کنه و یه جورایی مانع از شلختگی و ناپیوستگی ذهنی میشه ...more
Cheryl
Dear Life: “One day he just got the idea that he could do the acting and not go through all that church stuff. He tried to be polite about it, but they said it was the Devil getting hold. He said ha-ha I know who it was getting hold. Bye-bye.” Greta should have known that he could have possibly been a bye-bye kind of guy, yet she risked her young one and marriage, in order to kiss and fondle this stranger. Loneliness, this inevitable part of our waking, breathing moments you’ve given us.

Dear Lif
...more
Abubakar Mehdi
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one wonderful book. Being my first experience of Munro, I found my self entirely engrossed by the very first page. Alice Munro is not pretentious, She weaves the most complex of stories and abstract emotions with simplest of words, just like that. Like its nothing. With a rare clarity of vision and magical storytelling, Munro takes us to the very depths of our minds. How can a writer say so much with so few words?

Without being overtly philosophical I must say that Munro knows the crisis
...more
Richard
This is Alice Munro's most recent collection of short stories. Despite the advanced years of this grande dame of Canadian literature, her narrative powers have lost none of their sharpness. This offering has a family resemblance to other works of hers which I have read in the past. The setting is often a small Canadian town where life is very humdrum and ordinary. In this environment, shocking. tragic, bittersweet and sometimes humorous events can arise. They are chronicled with a detached, ofte ...more
Jan Priddy
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a great fan of Munro and wrote my critical essay in grad school mostly about one of her stories. She breaks rules, I believe intentionally and intelligently, and to a purpose. Her earliest stories are simply good, but then over time, as her reputation grew, she could do whatever she liked. And she did. I admire what writers do once they can afford to entirely please themselves. "The final four works in this book are not quite stories . . . things I have to say about my own life" including t ...more
Laysee
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I need only to start reading a few pages of a book by Alice Munro to know I can relax to the strains of a familiar voice and feel secure in the steady pen of a solid writer. Dear Life is a collection of fourteen stories; the last four in ‘Finale’ are autobiographical. The latter which I preferred offered a glimpse of the young Alice Munro growing up in Ontario, pouring over books with her feet in a warming oven, and discovering her story-telling voice as early as her high school days.

The stories
...more
Zanna
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zanna by: Garima
Where do I begin? My second Munro and I feel that familiar sensation, like feeling for the barely palpable edge of the sticky tape on the roll, a way in, when everything feels like the centre, a cycle that's encircled me, that I've had with me for so long I can't imagine either end.

It's not as if the stories are all the same or blur into each other - far from it in fact! The mood and mode of each is so crisply distinct I can imagine Munro writing in an organised study, selecting from the options
...more
Cheryl
Dear Ms Munro,
We often visited Nana and Grandpa’s in Kincardine while we were growing up in London in the early 70s. They had a rich supply of Readers Digest, crossword puzzle books, and National Geographics. I’d catch up on all that new reading, then retreat to my own books that I’d brought along. I was quite happy to sit on the couch for hours and read, while absorbing the family reunion vibe around me. They would gently tease me every time, “There she is with her nose in a book again.” They h
...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از 224 صفحه و 11 داستان تشکیل شده است که داستانها حالت روایت گونه و ساده ای دارد و برخی از آنها به نظر میرسد که دربارهٔ خود نویسنده است
داستانها نکتهٔ خاصی ندارد و همانطور که گفتم بسیار ساده است و حتی هیجانِ خاصی نیز در آن دیده نمیشود
موضوعی که در داستانها به چشم میخورد و من را خوشحال میکرد، اهمیت دادنِ نویسنده به جنسِ زن است و به گونه ای قهرمانهای داستانها از جنسِ عزیزِ زن هستند
و امّا موضوعی که برایم دلچسب نبود این بود که: من شخصاً علاقهٔ زیادی به سبکِ داستان نویسی و ادب
...more
Jaidee

3 "extremely memorable" stars.

I am writing this at 245 a.m. and we are at our cottage on Lake Huron and it was my favorite kind of day and evening and night and the spirit of Alice Munro was everywhere today. My partner spent a small time in his childhood in the town of Wingham Ontario (this is where Alice Munro grew up)and we had dinner there with his sister who lives very close to Clinton Ontario where Alice Munro currently lives. They are both ardent fans and I relished their discussion as th
...more
Nidhi Singh
Something that happens in most of Alice Munro’s stories is one of the many desired things that almost never happen to me. Those chance meetings that lead to moments of epiphany, those transformative experiences. I always thought I would also have one of those at some turn of the road. Or a forgotten someone would call out my name in a crowd. Or a certain name, a voice, would spark the memories a bygone past. Something that would lead to a retelling of life’s tales. And such difference that would ...more
Amirsaman
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
زنهای داستانهای آلیس مونرو، همان ویژگیهایی را دارند که زنِ ایدهآل خیال من.
یک وقار بهخصوصی که کسی اجازهی نزدیکشدن به آنها را به خود نمیدهد. وقاری که زنانه یا مردانه نیست. مثل داستان «آموندسن»، هم دکتر فاکس و هم میس تاک این جدیّت را دارند. مهربانی توام است با این غرور.

در داستان «گوشهی امن»، مواجهی آدم آزاد و تورنتویی را میبینیم با فضایی بسته و مقرراتی؛ که در آنجا وظیفهی زن ایجاد گوشهی امنی برای مرد است و خود زنها هم این را بهعنوان حقیقت پذیرفتهاند. برخلاف زنِ مونرویی، این زنان عاشق گردنبند هستند،
...more
Antigone
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays-shorts
Alice Munro's short story collection, Dear Life, has won several prestigious awards - among them the Nobel Prize in Literature. It's easy to see why. Her writing possesses the clarity, the texture, the depth, and the simple pure water craft one expects from a master, not only of words but of observation. There are ten short fictions to start, with a coda of four autobiographical pieces. All take place in Canada, Munro's home, and all contend with the everyday human travail. Here are jobs taken, ...more
Erwin
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was my introduction to Munro's short stories. I read them one at a time and savoured each one. I really enjoyed these extraordinary stories. Some of these stories just breathe life. Ordinary life can sometimes be so special! I won't easily pass up a chance to read more stories by Alice Munro.
Caroline
***NO SPOILERS***

(Book abandoned on page 133, after story 5.)

There's something to be said for a quiet story, the kind that unfolds languidly, that is open-ended. This is true of Munro's short stories. On the flip side, this kind of story can lack dramatic punch, fail to elicit any strong emotion in the reader, and seem pointless. This also is true of Munro's stories. Each of Dear Life's roughly 20- to 25-page-long stories centers around a female protagonist who experiences a sudden revelatory mo
...more
Ehsan'Shokraie'
Apr 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
در باب نوبل ادبیات 2013؟؟؟؟؟
مقام و افتخار همیشه گوشه ای از بلند پروازی بشر رو اشغال میکنه...شاید از زمان غار نشینی..مقام تمیز ترین غار،مقام بهترین شکارچی جوان,یا مقام خلاقانه ترین سر نیزه..و امثالهم..
و بعد از گذشت هزاران سال,این میل سوزان انسان تغییر نکرده..و حال ماجرای نوبل 2013:
در زمانی که عقاب ها مرده اند,گنجشک های مریض حال برنده مقام بهترین شکارچی میشوند..
Teresa
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can give this collection all the accolades I’ve given to the other collections I’ve read by Munro. As I said of The View from Castle Rock: Many of the stories are as good as anything I've read by her, though some of the ones here are even better. As I said of Too Much Happiness: ... some of these I'd read before and it was a pleasure to read them again ... This pleasure ... comes not from her characters or her plots ...but from the themes ..., some of which need to be teased out. And as I said ...more
Raul Bimenyimana
This was a brilliant collection of short stories. With short stories we expect a certain punch that will leave the reader breathless; Julio Cortazar is quoted to have said: "The novel wins by points, the short story by knockout." Most of these stories though, are ordinary stories of ordinary people and ordinary events, what would be called "ordinary life", and yet are so stunning and captivating.

Most of the stories are sad with characters that are marked by certain occurrences that left them hea
...more
Jonathan Peto
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Warning: Depressing but true to life, which is even more depressing. Do not read this if you are having any doubts about staying in this world. On another note, these stories may remind you why you left small towns for the big city. They include beautiful landscapes peopled with cruelty and indifference. The few times characters venture into cities the beautiful landscapes fall away but the bleakness remains.

One characteristic of this collection that I really enjoyed was how elements of the stor
...more
Elaine
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Many years ago, when I was in college, Alice Munro came to campus to do what was called a Master's Tea, a talk to a very small audience with an opportunity for conversation and questions after. I was in a phase where I was going to a lot of talks, and even though I hadn't read a word she'd written, I signed up. I was somewhat disappointed when she proceeded to read a short story (no memories of which one), and then talk gently and encouragingly about the craft of writing short fiction. I was at ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hellgoing
  • Married Love and Other Stories
  • Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories
  • Fools
  • Ivyland
  • Astray
  • Signs and Wonders
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories
  • Battleborn
  • We Live in Water
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • The New Yorker Stories
  • Fobbit
  • Daydreams of Angels
  • Starting Over
  • Gryphon: New and Selected Stories
  • The Collected Stories of Carol Shields
  • The Isle of Youth: Stories
See similar books…
4,034 followers
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
“The thing is to be happy,' he said. 'No matter what. Just try that. You can. It gets to be easier and easier. It's nothing to do with circumstances. You wouldn't believe how good it is. Accept everything and then tragedy disappears. Or tragedy lightens, anyway, you're just there, going along easy in the world.” 109 likes
“She would live now, not read.” 54 likes
More quotes…