Too Much Happiness (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

What can you say about a woman who won the Nobel  Prize or her fiction? Just that, yes, you really should get around to reading her, because her stories are stranger and more unsettling that you might have imagined… And, of course, beautifully crafted. Fiction at its most empathetic and original.

— Morgan

December 2009 Indie Next List

“A new work by Alice Munro is always cause for celebration, and this collection of stories is no exception. These stories are like smooth, fast rivers on the surface, hiding a deep turbulence. Each cool and intelligent voice lures me deep into the tale, but never fails to deal a swift jerk and embed a hook deep and permanent.”
— Karen M. Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT


A “profound and beautiful” (Francine Prose, O: The Oprah Magazine) collection of ten stories from Nobel Prize–winning author Alice Munro

“Filled with subtle and far-reaching thematic reverberations. . . . Munro has an empathy so pitch-perfect . . . you are drawn deftly into another world.”—The New York Times Book Review

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, The Economist, Slate
With clarity and ease, Alice Munro renders complex, difficult events and emotions into stories about the unpredictable ways in which men and women accommodate and often transcend what happens in their lives.
In the first story, a young wife and mother, suffering from the unbearable pain of losing her three children, gains solace from a most surprising source. In another, a young woman, in the aftermath of an unusual and humiliating seduction, reacts in a clever if less-than-admirable fashion. Other tales uncover the “deep-holes” in a marriage, the unsuspected cruelty of children, and, in the title story, the yearnings of a nineteenth-century female mathematician.

About the Author

Alice Munro is the author of thirteen collections of stories—including Dear Life, Runaway, and Too Much Happiness—as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women. Among the many awards and prizes she received are three Governor General’s Literary Awards and two Giller Prizes in Canada; the Rea Award; the Lannan Literary Award; the National Book Critics Circle Award; and the International Booker Prize. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Alice Munro died in 2024.

Praise For…

“Alice Munro has done it again. . . . [She] keeps getting better. . . . Her brush strokes are fine, her vision encompasses humanity from its most generous to its most corrupt, and the effect is nothing short of masterful.”The San Francisco Chronicle

“Richly detailed and dense with psychological observation. . . . Munro exhibit[s] a remarkable gift for transforming the seemingly artless into art . . . [She] concentrate[s] upon provincial, even backcountry lives, in tales of domestic tragicomedy that seem to open up, as if by magic, into wider, deeper, vaster dimensions.”—Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books
“Perfect . . . With this collection of surprising short stories, Munro once again displays the fertility of her imagination and her craftsmanship as a writer.”USA Today
Too Much Happiness . . . dazzles. The 10 spare, lovely tales [are] brimming with emotion and memorable characters. . . . Munro’s are stories that linger long after you turn the last page.”Entertainment Weekly, Grade A
“Finely, even ingeniously, crafted. . . . [Delivered] with instinctive acuity.”The Seattle Times

“Rich and satisfying . . . A commanding collection and one of her strongest. . . . Short fiction of this caliber should be on everyone’s reading list. Munro’s stories are accessible; she simply writes about life. . . . Honest, intuitive storytelling that gives the short story a good name.”Chicago Sun-Times
“Daring and unpredictable . . . Reading Munro is an intensely personal experience. Her focus is so clear and her style so precise. . . . Each [story is] dramatically and subtly different.”The Miami Herald

“Coherent and compelling . . . Munro manages to turn the sentimental into the existential.”The Philadelphia Inquirer
“As always in her distinctive stories, Alice Murno’s style is vivid, her attention tireless, her curiosity omnivorous, and her sentences drawn from the freshest of springs.”The Washington Post

“In story after story, Munro manages to compress whole lives and emotional arcs into 20 or so shapely pages, long enough to engage us in their world but short enough to absorb in a single sitting or commute. Her prose is spare without feeling rushed or cryptic, at once lucid and subtle.”The Christian Science Monitor
“I sit still for Alice Munro’s expository passages every time. She lays down such seemingly ordinary but useful sentences, one after another after another. . . . I stay to marvel. . . . Is there anyone writing short fiction today in English who has more authority?”—Alan Cheuse, NPR

“Consistently engrossing . . . thoughtfully wrought . . . [The] material is given piercing clarity by the resolute simplicity and restraint of Ms. Munro’s prose. . . . She can raise hackles on the back of your neck with a precisely phrased unadorned verb or noun. . . . The Munro magic is showcased brilliantly.”The Washington Times

“More occurs in Munro’s short stories than in most novels. . . . The pieces here . . . are thrilling permutations of her recurring themes: love, regret, the re-framing of one’s own personal narrative over time.”The New York Post

“More than virtually anyone else’s, Alice Munro’s stories unfold in surprising ways that nonetheless seem perfectly right. They are marvels of unhurried compression in which precision looks casual, in which everything is clearly in its place, though no one else might think to put it exactly thus.”Minneapolis Star Tribune
Product Details
ISBN: 9780307390349
ISBN-10: 0307390349
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2010
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Vintage International