Dance of the Happy Shades: And Other Stories by Alice Munro

By Alice Munro

In those fifteen brief stories--her 8th choice of brief tales in an extended and exotic career--Alice Munro conjures usual lives with a unprecedented imaginative and prescient, showing the striking expertise for which she is now commonly celebrated. Set on farms, by way of river marshes, within the lonely cities and new suburbs of western Ontario, those stories are luminous acts of cognizance to these brilliant moments whilst revelation emerges from the layers of expertise that lie at the back of even the main daily occasions and lives.

"Virtuosity, elemental command, incisive like a diamond, extraordinary: a lot of these descriptions healthy Alice Munro."--Christian technological know-how Monitor

"How does one recognize while one is within the grip of art--of a tremendous talent?....It is artwork that speaks from the pages of Alice Munro's stories."--Wall road Journal

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It was only Barry trying to extricate himself, like a cat with a claw stuck in a drape. Barry set his pail down and asked Everett, “What do you think of all those antlers back in camp? I’ve been wondering: what if deer owned the place? Would they hang up a bunch of human skeletons? I mean, what do you think about somebody who needs to display so many antlers? I mean, I’m not like that. I ran over a mouse with a lawnmower once and it made me sick. The bone fragments were flying and I had to stop mowing.

Or was I the one who misremembered everything? Never did I see children’s sandals in the pool. Did my father see the truth whereas my imagination betrayed me, or protected me? As you must already know, I’m incapable of recording truth as my father did. To capture a child’s face numb from terror. To let the shrubs behind that child fade off into the background while the child’s eyes demand to be looked into. My father often said that reality was worse than whatever he could capture in a still image.

The woods were silent except for the sawing of pine branches. The dry grasses gave off an almost sweet smell. For a long time he walked aimlessly before he saw the deer. The animal was motionless amid birches and pines. To brace himself, Everett rested his hand on the trunk of a pine. He drew away slowly, taking a step toward the spot where the deer stood, as if he could walk through an apparition. His memories dropped over him—memories of himself and the woman he had known since they were children.

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