When I Was Young and In My Prime by Alayna MunceWhen I Was Young and In My Prime by Alayna Munce

When I Was Young and In My Prime

byAlayna Munce

Paperback | September 20, 2005

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"A deeply humane, deeply human book."
- Michael Crummey

"Moving, funny, full of hard truths."
- Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail

What's left of us when we're gone? In When I Was Young and In My Prime, a young woman watches her grandparents begin to decline. As she sorts through the couple's belongings, she reflects on the untold stories and unsung bonds that make up our lives. Meanwhile, modern urban life places strains on her own marriage and on her sense of what, ultimately, we owe each other.

Weaving together voices, diary entries, poems, conversations and lists, When I Was Young and In My Prime cuts to the heart of our search for intimacy and family, for what makes life meaningful and love real. The result is a smart, moving novel about personal and cultural decline, dignity and work, the urban and the rural, the old and the new, and the search for something ageless.
Alayna Munce grew up in Huntsville, Ontario, and has spent most of her adulthood in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, where she spends her time writing and working in bars and community centres. Her work has appeared in various Canadian literary journals and has three times won prizes in Grain Magazine's annual Short Grain Contest...
Title:When I Was Young and In My PrimeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.73 inPublished:September 20, 2005Publisher:Nightwood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889712093

ISBN - 13:9780889712096

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Absolutely beautiful writing - so poetic, literally makes you stop, reread passages & savour the language. Also, a really lovely family tale.
Date published: 2008-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is one of the best I've read so far this year. Lyrical, spare and oh so beautifully written, this novel deals with age and death and the little rituals that make up a life. Rather than deal with the physical aspects of the story, the narration floats through the thoughts, memories and feelings of the characters, dancing among the spaces, the pauses and the unsaid thoughts that seperate and join us all.
Date published: 2006-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful, intricate story of family and life This book intricately weaves the stories of several family members. It is lyrical and compelling, like being carried gently down a river by the current. It tells the story of a young woman coming to terms with her own life through the understanding of her grandparents' lives as she accepts their gradual decline and inevitable death.
Date published: 2005-12-17

Read from the Book

Terrible to say, but there's a glamour in decay. All the sugars rising to the surface. Even the making of wine is a kind of controlled decomposition.The last days have an atmosphere in which everything stands out, back-lit, finite. Photographers call it magic hour. As if death, closer now, closer every day, radiates a kind of pre-storm light.And then that pre-storm light lasts for a spell after death--for the living. Basic things take on new definition, demand attention, but resist naming.

Editorial Reviews

"Munce blends the essential with the mundane in ways that echo the way people think, and the way people live... Munce's novel is a beautiful and heartbreaking collage work writing the remnants of lives broken up and sold off in parts as well as what else gets rescued and passed on, and writing the foundations on what other lives, such as the narrator's own, as well as her grandparents, are built upon."
- rob mclennan