Is Alice Munro’s Lone Novel… Even a Novel?

Benjamin Hedin at Lit Hub:

“I have written about it and used it up,” says the narrator of “Home,” a story Munro published a few years after Lives of Girls and Women. In it she imagines returning to her hometown to care for her ailing father. But Munro never did—she never used it up, and Del also comes to understand she won’t have to leave home to find material. It is all around her, inexhaustible though latent, for what she must learn to do—the job of any writer—is to take the parochial and make it universal. “People’s lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere,” she says, “were dull, simple, amazing and unfathomable.”

Ultimately, Lives of Girls and Women may resist definitive classification. Read it and decide for yourself if it’s a novel, short story cycle, or autobiography. What it does is chart, with an expert sensitivity, the formation of a consciousness, a writerly intelligence.

more here.