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Dear Life
 
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Dear Life [Format Kindle]

Alice Munro
3.8 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter 1

To Reach Japan

Once Peter had brought her suitcase on board the train he seemed eager to get himself out of the way. But not to leave. He explained to her that he was just uneasy that the train should start to move. Out on the platform looking up at their window, he stood waving. Smiling, waving. The smile for Katy was wide open, sunny, without a doubt in the world, as if he believed that she would continue to be a marvel to him, and he to her, forever. The smile for his wife seemed hopeful and trusting, with some sort of determination about it. Something that could not easily be put into words and indeed might never be. If Greta had mentioned such a thing he would have said, Don’t be ridiculous. And she would have agreed with him, thinking that it was unnatural for people who saw each other daily, constantly, to have to go through explanations of any kind.

   When Peter was a baby, his mother had carried him across some mountains whose name Greta kept forgetting, in order to get out of Soviet Czechoslovakia into Western Europe. There were other people of course. Peter’s father had intended to be with them but he had been sent to a sanatorium just before the date for the secret departure. He was to follow them when he could, but he died instead.

   “I’ve read stories like that,” Greta said, when Peter first told her about this. She explained how in the stories the baby would start to cry and invariably had to be smothered or strangled so that the noise did not endanger the whole illegal party.

   Peter said he had never heard such a story and would not say what his mother would have done in such circumstances.

   What she did do was get to British Columbia where she improved her ­En­glish and got a job teaching what was then called Business Practice to high school students. She brought up Peter on her own and sent him to college, and now he was an engineer. When she came to their apartment, and later to their house, she always sat in the front room, never coming into the kitchen unless Greta invited her. That was her way. She carried not noticing to an extreme. Not noticing, not intruding, not suggesting, though in every single household skill or art she left her ­daughter-­in-­law far behind.

   Also, she got rid of the apartment where Peter had been brought up and moved into a smaller one with no bedroom, just room for a foldout couch. So Peter can’t go home to Mother? Greta teased her, but she seemed startled. Jokes pained her. Maybe it was a problem of language. But ­En­glish was her usual language now and indeed the only language Peter knew. He had learned Business ­Practice—­though not from his ­mother—­when Greta was learning Paradise Lost. She avoided anything useful like the plague. It seemed he did the opposite.

   With the glass between them, and Katy never allowing the waving to slow down, they indulged in looks of comic or indeed insane goodwill. She thought how ­nice-­looking he was, and how he seemed to be so unaware of it. He wore a brush cut, in the style of the ­time—­particularly if you were anything like an ­engineer—­and his ­light-­colored skin was never flushed like hers, never blotchy from the sun, but evenly tanned whatever the season.

   His opinions were something like his complexion. When they went to see a movie, he never wanted to talk about it afterwards. He would say that it was good, or pretty good, or okay. He ­didn’t see the point in going further. He watched television, he read a book in somewhat the same way. He had patience with such things. The people who put them together were probably doing the best they could. Greta used to argue, rashly asking whether he would say the same thing about a bridge. The people who did it did their best but their best was not good enough so it fell down.

   Instead of arguing, he just laughed.

   It was not the same thing, he said.

   No?

   No.

   Greta should have realized that this ­attitude—­hands off, ­tolerant—­was a blessing for her, because she was a poet, and there were things in her poems that were in no way cheerful or easy to explain.

   (Peter’s mother and the people he worked ­with—­those who knew about ­it—­still said poetess. She had trained him not to. Otherwise, no training necessary. The relatives she had left behind in her life, and the people she knew now in her role as a housewife and mother, did not have to be trained because they knew nothing about this peculiarity.)

   It would become hard to explain, later on in her life, just what was okay in that time and what was not. You might say, well, feminism was not. But then you would have to explain that feminism was not even a word people used. Then you would get all tied up saying that having any serious idea, let alone ambition, or maybe even reading a real book, could be seen as suspect, having something to do with your child’s getting pneumonia, and a political remark at an office party might have cost your husband his promotion. It would not have mattered which political party either. It was a woman’s shooting off her mouth that did it.

   People would laugh and say, Oh surely you are joking and you would have to say, Well, but not that much. Then she would say, one thing, though, was that if you were writing poetry it was somewhat safer to be a woman than a man. That was where the word poetess came in handy, like a web of spun sugar. Peter would not have felt that way, she said, but remember he had been born in Europe. He would have understood, though, how the men he worked with were supposed to feel about such things.

   That summer Peter was going to spend a month or maybe longer in charge of a job that was being done at Lund, far up, in fact as far as you could go north, on the mainland. There was no accommodation for Katy and Greta.

   But Greta had kept in touch with a girl she used to work with in the Vancouver library, who was married now and living in Toronto. She and her husband were going to spend a month in Europe that ­summer—­he was a ­teacher—­and she had written Greta wondering if Greta and her family would do them a ­favor—­she was very ­polite—­by occupying the house in Toronto for part of that time, not letting it stand empty. And Greta had written back telling her about Peter’s job but taking up the offer for Katy and herself.

   That was why they were now waving and waving from the platform and from the train.

   There was a magazine then, called The Echo Answers, published irregularly in Toronto. Greta had found it in the library and sent them some poems. Two of the poems had been published, and the result was that when the editor of the magazine came to Vancouver, last fall, she had been invited to a party, with other writers, to meet him. The party was at the house of a writer whose name had been familiar to her, it seemed, for her whole life. It was held in the late afternoon, when Peter was still at work, so she hired a sitter and set off on the North Vancouver bus across ­Lions Gate Bridge and through Stanley Park. Then she had to wait in front of the Hudson’s Bay for a long ride out to the university campus, which was where the writer lived. Let off at the bus’s last turning, she found the street and walked along peering at house numbers. She was wearing high heels which slowed her down considerably. Also her most sophisticated black dress, zipped up at the back and skimming the waist and always a little too tight at the hips. It made her look somewhat ridiculous, she thought, as she stumbled slightly, along the curving streets with no sidewalks, the only person about in the waning afternoon. Modern houses, picture windows, as in any ­up-­and-­coming suburb, not at all the kind of neighborhood she had expected. She was beginning to wonder if she had got the street wrong, and was not unhappy to think that. She could go back to the bus stop where there was a bench. She could slip off her shoes and settle down for the long solitary ride home.

   But when she saw the cars parked, saw the number, it was too late to turn around. Noise seeped out around the closed door and she had to ring the bell twice.

   She was greeted by a woman who seemed to have been expecting somebody else. Greeted was the wrong ­word—­the woman opened the door and Greta said that this must be where they were having the party.

   “What does it look like?” the woman said, and leaned on the doorframe. The way was barred till she—Greta—said, “May I come in?” and then there was a movement that seemed to cause considerable pain. She ­didn’t ask Greta to follow her but Greta did anyway.

   Nobody spoke to her or noticed her but in a short time a teenage girl thrust out a tray on which there were glasses of what looked like pink lemonade. Greta took one, and drank it down at a thirsty gulp, then took another. She thanked the girl, and tried to start a conversation about the long hot walk, but the girl was not interested and turned away, doing her job.

   Greta moved on. She kept smiling. Nobody looked at her with any recognition or pleasure and why should they? People’s eyes slid round her and then they went on with their conversations. They laughed. Everybody but Greta was equipped with friends, jokes, ­half-­secrets, everybody appeared to have found somebody to welcome them. Except for the t...

Revue de presse

“One of the great short story writers not just of our time but of any time.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Wise and unforgettable. Dear Life is a wondrous gift; a reminder of why Munro’s work endures.” —The Boston Globe

“Unquestionable evidence of her unfaded abilities. . . . Reading these stories will tell you something about Alice Munro’s life, but it will tell you more about Alice Munro’s mind—and, not entirely surprisingly, this proves to be even more compelling.” —The New Republic
 
“Alice Munro is not only revered, she is cherished. . . . Dear Life is as rich and astonishing as anything she has done before.” —The New York Review of Books

“There is no writer quite as good at illustrating the foibles of love, the confusions and frustrations of life or the inner cruelty and treachery that can be revealed in the slightest gestures and changes of tone. . . . The stories of Dear Life violate a host of creative writing rules, but they establish yet again Munro’s psychological acuity, clear-eyed acceptance of frailties and mastery of the short story form.” —The Washington Post

“Alice Munro demonstrates once again why she deserves her reputation as a master of short fiction.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“Exquisite. . . . No other author can tell quite so much with quite so little. The modest surfaces of Munro’s lapidary sentences conceal rich veins of ore.” —Chicago Tribune

“Munro’s wonderfully frank and compassionate stories suggest that perseverance, the determination to keep at the work of living, can invest a life with dignity through the end of one’s days.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Absorbing. . . . Most haunting of all are the four autobiographical sketches that end the book, which display Munro’s gift of observation and ability to trace big emotional arcs in short brushstrokes.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Munro’s best collection yet.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Remarkable. . . . Masterfully evokes the relationship between people and the places they inhabit.” —Time Out New York

“Munro has an uncanny knack of convincing the reader that the characters have real lives before the stories commence and continuing existences after. . . . This is simply a good writer doing what she loves.” —The Guardian (London)

“In acknowledging Alice Munro’s pre-eminence in the world of contemporary short fiction it’s become fashionable to describe her as the ‘Canadian Chekhov,’ but that title barely hints at the scope of her literary influence. Dear Life, her 13th collection, only serves to burnish her reputation for creating intelligent, sophisticated stories out of inarguably humble materials.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Virtuosic. . . . Encompass a wide variety of always-unpredictable characters—young, old, middle-aged—caught in circumstances that have the bright erratic flow of life itself.” —The Seattle Times

“Munro is who she is, and we are fortunate to have her. No other author can contain so much life, and so many lives, in such few pages. . . . They can be read over and over, dependably revealing more with each reading.” —The Miami Herald

“Alice Munro has long been acknowledged as one of Canada’s literary treasures. This new volume, with its historical slant, its autobiographical material, its impressionistic descriptions of scenery, its occasional nostalgia and pleasing irony, confirms her reputation.” —The Washington Times

“How does Munro manage such great effects on a relatively small canvas? It’s a question that most anyone who has seriously attempted to write a short story in the last 20 years has pondered. . . . Munro has a genius, no empty word here, for selecting details that keep unfolding in the reader’s mind.” —Los Angeles Times

“Reading Alice Munro is like drinking water—one hardly notices the words, only the marvel at being quenched. . . . Behind each sentence is a world, conjured more distinctly than in many an entire novel.” —The Plain Dealer

“Alice Munro . . . has earned every bit of her reputation as being one of the best living short story writers, in English if not in the entire world. . . . This collection represents fiction at its finest—captivating, complex, lifelike.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“These stories are perfect. . . . Dear Life is a collection as rich and surprising as any in Alice Munro’s deep career.” —National Post

“Alice Munro has always been the poet of the unexpected passion that comes seemingly out nowhere and changes a character’s life. . . . She is, and has been for decades, one of our most important writers, one whose work represents all the most essential and pleasurable aspects of literature, and which reminds us of what great literature is: You know it when you see it.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Praise from fellow writers:

“Her work felt revolutionary when I came to it, and it still does.” —Jhumpa Lahiri

“She is one of the handful of writers, some living, most dead, whom I have in mind when I say that fiction is my religion.” —Jonthan Franzen

“The authority she brings to the page is just lovely.” —Elizabeth Strout

“She’s the most savage writer I’ve ever read, also the most tender, the most honest, the most perceptive.” —Jeffery Eugenides

“Alice Munro can move characters through time in a way that no other writer can.”—Julian Barnes

“She is a short-story writer who…reimagined what a story can do.” —Loorie Moore

“There’s probably no one alive who’s better at the craft of the short story.” —Jim Shepard

“A true master of the form.” —Salman Rushdie

“A wonderful writer.” —Joyce Carol Oates 


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1673 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 338 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital (15 novembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B009HSPODE
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.8 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°14.971 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Plaisir de lire en anglais (Canada) 21 novembre 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
J'ai eu le plaisir de lire en anglais le recueil de nouvelles d'Alice Munro "Dear Life". La langue est assez classique et donc accessible à un non spécialiste de l'anglais. J'ai vraiment découvert l'auteur, ce que les traductions de ses ouvrages antérieurs ne m'avait pas permis de faire. J'ai aussi découvert au plus près l'univers de cet auteur où, au delà de la narration, la symbolique joue un grand rôle. J'ai aimé l'atmosphère des nouvelles, presque tragique parfois et drôle ne même temps. Les personnages sont attachants, en relation avec la narration à la première personne.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful Munro 1 juin 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Munro's beautiful style, seemingly simple but so emotionally packed. Stories of growing up in rural Canada --anyone who grew up in a small town has similar experiences but how she expresses them--brilliant.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 super par moments 9 mars 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
à relire plusieurs fois pour tout capter, le monde des gens (très) âgés, peut être situé que à canada, un beau anglais
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 très décevant 10 février 2014
Par Mathilde
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Un des plus mauvais recueils de cet auteur que pourtant j'adore. Ici, tout est lourd et décevant au lieu d'être intelligent et percutant.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Munro at het best 17 janvier 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Great collection of short stories, next to Runaway the best collection I've read. The autobiographical non-fiction (3 storeis at the end) I found less engaging, as always, fiction is better than life.
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