A collection of short fiction captures the lives of women of all ages and circumstances, as they deal with the limits and lies of passion, unfulfilled dreams, motherhood, betrayal, and the bonds of love.
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013
This acclaimed, bestselling collection also contains the celebrated stories that inspired the Pedro Almodóvar film Julieta. Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. In Munro's hands, the people she writes about-women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children-become as vivid as our own neighbors. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.
"Alice Munro has a strong claim to being the best fiction writer now working in North America. Runaway is a marvel." -Jonathan Franzen, The New York Times Book Review
" Runaway may very well be the synthesizing work of one of literature's keenest investigators into the human soul." - USA Today
"She outjoices Joyce and checkmates Chekhov. . . . Each of the stories in Runaway contains enough lived life to fill a typical novel. . . . Her women are heroic. . . . They endure in the mind of the reader." - The Boston Globe
"As with so many of Munro's stories, you read to have your premises altered and deepened. Could anything be better? . . . A beautiful new work." - Los Angeles Times
"The great Alice Munro proves again why short-story writers bow down to her." - Vanity Fair
" Runaway is a big dish of Beluga caviar, sailing in on a sparkling bed of ice, with a mother-of-pearl spoon. You remember: This is why you eat, read, make love, whatever-to be left silly with admiration and delight." - The Washington Post
Praise from fellow writers:
"Her work felt revolutionary when I came to it, and it still does." -Jhumpa Lahiri
"She is one of the handful of writers, some living, most dead, whom I have in mind when I say that fiction is my religion." -Jonthan Franzen
"The authority she brings to the page is just lovely." -Elizabeth Strout
"She's the most savage writer I've ever read, also the most tender, the most honest, the most perceptive." -Jeffery Eugenides
"Alice Munro can move characters through time in a way that no other writer can."-Julian Barnes
"She is a short-story writer who...reimagined what a story can do." -Loorie Moore
"There's probably no one alive who's better at the craft of the short story." -Jim Shepard
"A true master of the form." -Salman Rushdie
"A wonderful writer." -Joyce Carol Oates
Carla heard the car coming before it topped the little rise in the road that around here they called a hill. It's her, she thought. Mrs. Jamieson-Sylvia-home from her holiday in Greece. From the barn door-but far enough inside that she could not readily be seen-she watched the road Mrs. Jamieson would have to drive by on, her place being half a mile farther along the road than Clark and Carla's.
If it was somebody getting ready to turn in at their gate it would be slowing down by now. But still Carla hoped. Let it not be her.
It was. Mrs. Jamieson turned her head once, quickly-she had all she could do maneuvering her car through the ruts and puddles the rain had made in the gravel-but she didn't lift a hand off the wheel to wave, she didn't spot Carla. Carla got a glimpse of a tanned arm bare to the shoulder, hair bleached a lighter color than it had been before, more white now than silver-blond, and an expression that was determined and exasperated and amused at her own exasperation-just the way Mrs. Jamieson would look negotiating such a road. When she turned her head there was something like a bright flash-of inquiry, of hopefulness-that made Carla shrink back.
Maybe Clark didn't know yet. If he was sitting at the computer he would have his back to the window and the road.
But Mrs. Jamieson might have to make another trip. Driv- ing home from the airport, she might not have stopped for groceries-not until she'd been home and figured out what she needed. Clark might see her then. And after dark, the lights of her house would show. But this was July, and it didn't get dark till late. She might be so tired that she wouldn't bother with the lights, she might go to bed early.
On the other hand, she might telephone. Any time now.
This was the summer of rain and more rain. You heard it first thing in the morning, loud on the roof of the mobile home. The trails were deep in mud, the long grass soaking, leaves overhead sending down random showers even in those moments when there was no actual downpour from the sky and the clouds looked like clearing. Carla wore a high, wide-brimmed old Australian felt hat every time she went outside, and tucked her long thick braid down her shirt.
Nobody showed up for trail rides, even though Clark and Carla had gone around posting signs in all the camping sites, in the cafes, and on the tourist office billboard and anywhere else they could think of. Only a few pupils were coming for lessons and those were regulars, not the batches of schoolchildren on vacation, the busloads from summer camps, that had kept them going through last summer. And even the regulars that they counted on were taking time off for holiday trips, or simply cancelling their lessons because of the weather being so discouraging. If they called too late, Clark charged them for the time anyway. A couple of them had complained, and quit for good.
There was still some income from the three horses that were boarded. Those three, and the four of their own, were out in the field now, poking around in the grass under the trees. They looked as if they couldn't be bothered to notice that the rain was holding off for the moment, the way it often did for a while in the afternoon. Just enough to get your hopes up-the clouds whitening and thinning and letting through a diffuse brightness that never got around to being real sunshine, and was usually gone before supper.
Carla had finished mucking out in the barn. She had taken her time-she liked the rhythm of her regular chores, the high space under the barn roof, the smells. Now she went over to the exercise ring to see how dry the ground was, in case the five o'clock pupil did show up.
Most of the steady showers had not been particularly heavy, or borne on any wind, but last week there had come a sud- den stirring and then a blast through the treetops and a nearly horizontal blinding rain. In a quarter of
"Runaway" is the first story in this stunning collection, sure to be a runaway success. All of the eight stories are new, published in book form for the first time--a special feast for the millions of Munro fans around the world.