My Best Stories

Alice Munro selects her favourite pieces for this collection of short stories.

Alice Munro

My Best Stories is a dazzling selection of stories — 17 favourites chosen by the author from across her distinguished career. The stories are arranged in the order in which they were written, allowing even the most devoted Munro admirer to discover how her work developed. "Royal Beatings" shows us right away how far we are from the romantic world of happy endings. "The Albanian Virgin" smashes the idea that all of her stories are set in B.C. or in Ontario's "Alice Munro Country." "A Wilderness Station" breaks short story rules by transporting us back to the 1830s and then jumping forward more than a hundred years. And the final story, "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," which was adapted into the film Away from Her, leads us far beyond the turkey-plucking world of young girls into unflinching old age.

Every story in this selection is superb. It is a book to read — and reread — very slowly, savouring each separate story. This collection of small masterpieces deserves a place in every book lover's home. (From Penguin Canada)

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From the book

My mother prayed on her knees at midday, at night, and first thing in the morning. Every day opened up to her to have God's will done in it. Every night she totted up what she'd done and said and thought, to see how it squared with Him. That kind of life is dreary, people think, but they're missing the point. For one thing, such a life can never be boring. And nothing can happen to you that you can't make use of. Even if you're wracked by troubles, and sick and poor and ugly, you've got your soul to carry through life like a treasure on a platter.

From My Best Stories by Alice Munro ©2006. Published by Penguin Canada.

Author interviews

The not-so-ordinary Alice Munro

36 years ago
Duration 4:14
Munro wins the inaugural Marian Engel Award in 1986 for her body of work. Credit: All works shown are by Alice Munro, Penguin Canada

Alice Munro challenges censorship

44 years ago
Duration 8:27
The author speaks out against a Huron County school board that seeks to remove certain books from reading lists.
Alice Munro's first appearance on CBC's Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, shortly after the show's launch in the fall of 1990.

More about this book

5 coolest things Alice Munro has told the CBC about her writing

7 years ago
Duration 2:05
Alice Munro turns 85 on July 10, 2016. Over the hears, she's been interviewed by the CBC many times.