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Monday, September 19, 2016

The Writer's Life 9/19 - Dear Life

Born in rural Canada in 1931, Alice Munro has had an incredible run as a short story writer. Her work has appeared in significant magazines and she has had 14 collections published, as well as seven Best of compilations. She has been awarded both the Nobel and Man Booker Prize. I was fortunate to come into possession of her latest book, Dear Life, published in 2013. At first I had difficulty with the prose. I either grew accustomed to it or the later stories were more well written. According to her page at Wiki, she is notorious for rewriting stories that had already been published. Her style is unpretentious. She has no qualms about ending a sentence with a preposition. She uses less commas than any writer I've ever read, except those who work in an avant garde form, and that's a good thing. I hope it makes the "When in doubt leave it out" inner debate easier for me. I've been writing since 1975 and still find commas problematic - amazing. The piece in Dear Life I enjoyed most, Train, runs about 40 pages. It is the story of a returning war veteran. Almost all of the action in the stories takes place in what Yanks would call the country. Each story is a slice of life, grounded in realism. Munro's focus is the human condition. The final four pieces are not stories but memoir. The last is the title piece and refers to how humans cling, literally and figuratively, to life. It concludes beautifully: "...We say of some things that they can't be forgiven, or that we will never forgive ourselves. But we do--we do it all the time." I know I'm guilty. 728 readers at Amazon have rated Dear Life, forging to a consensus of four of five. I wouldn't go that high. I wish I'd read something from the middle of her illustrious career. These days I keep myself to one book per author.

In a recent address, President Obama said he would be insulted by any blacks who voted for Donald Trump, who threatens his legacy. It's good strategy, although I'm not sure it will work. At present polls seem to indicate the community is returning to its previous voting split, 70+% for Democrats, 20+% for Republicans. Understandably, 90+% voted for Obama. Will the current percentages hold? We'll find out when the exit polls are published. Trump has reached out to blacks like no other Republican I recall. He constantly goes into the lion's den, sitting for interviews in liberal territory, while Hillary hides behind the protection of the mainstream media.

Myriad attacks and no deaths - if only that would always be the case. Is a pause in Muslim immigration really so radical an idea? Why risk bringing in more terrorists? We already have many lone wolves or packs among us. Electing Trump won't immediately put an end to the attacks. The creeps will have to be rooted out for years. But to continue the same policy of the weak vetting of the newly arrived is madness.

The floating book shop was rained out today. Back at 'em manana.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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