A Wilderness Station: Selected Stories, 1968-1994 by Alice Munro

By Alice Munro

A New York Times Editors’ selection Book

Spanning virtually thirty years and settings that diversity from immense towns to small cities and farmsteads of rural Canada, this wonderful assortment brings jointly twenty-eight tales through a author of unprecedented wit, generosity, and emotional energy. In A wasteland Station: Selected tales, 1968–1994, Alice Munro makes lives that appear small spread until eventually they're printed to be as spacious as prairies and locates the moments of affection and betrayal, hope and forgiveness, that modify these lives forever.
 
A touring salesman in the course of the melancholy takes his young ones with him on an impromptu stopover at to a former female friend. A terrible woman steels herself to marry a wealthy fiancé she can’t particularly be able to love. An deserted girl attempts to select from the opposing pleasures of seduction and solitude. To learn those tales is to succumb to the spell of a real narrative sorcerer, a author who enchants her readers totally while she restores them to their truest selves.

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1 (January 1944): 87–101. Print. Bruhn, Siglind. Musical Ekphrasis: Composer Responding to Poetry and Painting. Hillsdale: Pendragon Press, 2000. Print. Dickie, Margaret. On the Modernist Long Poem. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1986. Print. DuPlessis, Rachel Blau. Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley, and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2012. Print. Epstein, Josh. Sublime Noise: Musical Culture and the Modernist Writer. Maryland: Johns Hopkins UP, 2014. Print.

AYM draws from these earlier formal experiments, returning to or revising a poetry that is socially purposive, proletarianist, even red, communist, or as Jonathan Scott has put it in an excellent study, marked by “socialist joy” (Scott 219–26). Hughes was spurred on by events fresh in the contemporary political imaginary, particularly the still-fresh memories of humiliation at the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). It is especially in these two major, late long poems, Montage and AYM, that the politics of notational poetics is put to the test most strikingly.

And blues here constitutes not just the quiet reflective moodiness one might expect with compositions that fall late in the thinking of a long life in poetry. Rather, AYM, as his biographer Arnold Rampersad recalls, was composed against the backdrop of the July riots at the Newport Jazz Festival, in the midst of a time of political activity, disaffection and renewed anger in Hughes’ thinking, particularly about intersections between race, youth and class: In 1960, Langston felt for America not the sentimental idealism that mainly had inspired his Depression plea (“Let America Be America Again”) but flaring rage and a mocking, sardonic contempt for the national history of racism and lies.

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