Too Much Happiness

by Alice Munro

Penguin Canada | August 31, 2010 | Trade Paperback

Too Much Happiness is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
Brilliantly paced, lit with sparks of danger and underlying menace, these are dazzling, provocative stories about Svengali men and the radical women who outmanoeuvre them, about destructive marriages and curdled friendships, about mothers and sons, about moments that change or haunt a life.

A wife and mother whose spirit has been crushed finds release from her extraordinary pain in the most unlikely of places. The young victim of a humiliating seduction (which involves reading Housman in the nude) finds an unusual way to get her own back and move on. An older woman, dying of cancer, weaves a poisonous story to save her life. Alice Munro takes on complex, even harrowing emotions and events and renders them into stories that surprise, amaze, and shed light on the unpredictable ways we accommodate to what happens in our lives

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.9 in

Published: August 31, 2010

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143170996

ISBN - 13: 9780143170990

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another powerful collection from Munro I was captivated by all of the stories in this collection. My one complaint is with the title story, which is actually a novella based on the life of Russian matthematician and novelist Sophia Kovalevsky. Because Munro chose to do this as a frame narration in which Kovalevsky recalls her life while riding on various trains and ferries to Sweden, the story is not told in chronological order. This creates confusion in particular when suddenly Kovalevsky's former husband, Vladimir, appears in the story without warning and his presence is only explained somewhat later. This confusion caused me to temporarily put aside the story, and it might well cause some readers to give up on the story altogether. "Too Much Happiness" is a fascinating story about how a remarkably intelligent and talented woman at the beginning of the 20th century had to deal with so much patriarchal oppression and misunderstanding, and consequently never received the venue to develop her talents she deserved. Even so, the title story is different from the rest of this collection because it is not as tight and carefully structured as the others, which are otherwise all brilliantly realized, classic Munro stories.
Date published: 2010-11-10

– More About This Product –

Too Much Happiness

Too Much Happiness

by Alice Munro

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.9 in

Published: August 31, 2010

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143170996

ISBN - 13: 9780143170990

Read from the Book

Wenlock Edge My mother had a bachelor cousin who used to visit us on the farm once a summer. He brought along his mother, Aunt Nell Botts. His own name was Ernie Botts. He was a tall, florid man with a good-natured expression, a big square face, and fair curly hair springing straight up from his forehead. His hands, his fingernails, were as clean as soap, and his hips were a little plump. My name for him—when he was not around—was Earnest Bottom. I had a mean tongue. But I believed I meant no harm. Hardly any harm. After Aunt Nell Botts died he did not come anymore but sent a Christmas card. When I went to university in London—that is in London, Ontario—where he lived, he started a custom of taking me out to dinner every other Sunday evening. It seemed to me that this was the sort of thing he would do, because I was a relative—he would not even have to consider whether we were suited to spending time together. He always took me to the same place, a restaurant called the Old Chelsea, which was upstairs, looking down on Dundas Street. It had velvet curtains, white tablecloths, little rose-shaded lamps on the tables. It probably cost more than he could afford, but I did not think of that, having a country girl's notion that all men who lived in cities, wore a suit every day, and sported such clean fingernails had reached a level of prosperity where indulgences like this were the usual thing. I had the most exotic offering on the menu, such as chicken vol au vent or duck à l'oran
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From the Publisher

Brilliantly paced, lit with sparks of danger and underlying menace, these are dazzling, provocative stories about Svengali men and the radical women who outmanoeuvre them, about destructive marriages and curdled friendships, about mothers and sons, about moments that change or haunt a life.

A wife and mother whose spirit has been crushed finds release from her extraordinary pain in the most unlikely of places. The young victim of a humiliating seduction (which involves reading Housman in the nude) finds an unusual way to get her own back and move on. An older woman, dying of cancer, weaves a poisonous story to save her life. Alice Munro takes on complex, even harrowing emotions and events and renders them into stories that surprise, amaze, and shed light on the unpredictable ways we accommodate to what happens in our lives

About the Author

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published sixteen books — Dance of the Happy Shades; Lives of Girls and Women, Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You; Who Do You Think You Are?; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; Selected Stories; The Love of a Good Woman; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; The View from Castle Rock; Alice Munro’s Best, Too Much Happiness, and Dear Life. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the recent Nobel Prize in Literature which cited her as “a master of the contemporary short story.”

Here at home she has won too many awards to list, including three Governor General’s Literary Awards, two Giller Prizes, several Trillium Prizes and a number of Libris Awards. Elsewhere she has won the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England’s W. H. Smith Book Award, Italy’s Pescara prize, the United States’ National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Night, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.

Alice Munro divides her time between Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

“This book can make your skin crawl with its uncoverings of the transitoriness and precariousness of comfortable everyday existence…a masterpiece of plotting… Written with veteran assurance, brimming with intensely believeable characters and rich social detail, these dispatches from the most unsparing reaches of Munro’s imagination confirm her acclaimed place on the highest ground of contemporary fiction”— Peter Kemp, Sunday Times“She has the lightest of touches, with every word seeming entirely necessary”— Lorna Bradbury, Telegraph Review“Alice Munro’s latest collection of short stories reaffirms her as a writer of piercing insight… Some of the most honest, intuitive and exacting fiction, long or short, of our time”— Tom Gatti, The Times“She is one of the grandees of English-language short fiction…Her prose is clean, precise and unmannered…she gives the impression of being able to make the form do pretty much anything she wants”— Christopher Taylor, Saturday Guardian“She writes with a beautiful, mathematical clarity, an elemental humanity and a marvellous, limpid, funny apprehension of what goes on”— Jane Shilling Telegraph“There is a substantial quality to Munro’s stories that makes you feel you have stumbled on an entire world, but have been given only a peek into the protagonists’ lives, which will continue apace when your eye has long since passed over them…Cleverly wrought, intense pieces of work”— Rosemary Goring, Sunday Herald“Alice Munro has done more than anyone t
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