First published in 1992, this is the first study of the work of Alice Munro to focus on her obsession with mothering, and to relate it to the hallucinatory quality of her magic realism. A bizarre collection of clowning mothers parade across the pages of Munro’s fiction, playing practical jokes, performing stunts, and dressing in disguises that recycle vintage literary images. Magdalene Redekop studies this with the aim of gaining increased understanding of Munro’s evolving comic vision.
"Huron County modesty threatens, but I will spare you. To be read so lovingly and attentively and intelligently is a joy -- that's all there is to it" (Alice Munro, letter to Magdalene Redekop, October, 1992).
"In a brilliant pioneering study, Magdalene Redekop outlines the precise patterns of compassion and ironic distancing in Munro's stories" (Harold Bloom in 'Alice Munro: Bloom's Modern Critical Views', 2009).
Abbreviations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I: The Argument 1. Paying attention: here come the mothering clowns 2. The Madonna and the harlot join the family circus 3. Dilemma: watching through Orphan Annie eyes 4. Response: dancing with the puppet Alicia 5. Large pink woman reading a joke; Part II: Readings 6. Dance of the Happy Shades: Reading the signs of invasion 7. Lives of Girls and Women: trying to understand the danger 8. Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: coming to see the damage 9. Who Do You Think You Are?: blaming the king of the royal beatings 10. The Moons of Jupiter: picking up the pieces 11. The Progress of Love: making a spectacle of yourself 12. Friend of My Youth: making connections; Postscript: writings on a living author; Bibliography; Index
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