What Do I Read Next?
Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919) depicts everyday life in small-town Ohio. This collection of short stories was noted for its subtle, understated qualities and its use of unconventional structure.
In ‘‘Meneseteung,’’ the narrator imagines Almeda Roth in a nerve-medicine-induced delirium in which Roth locks herself inside her house and examines the wallpaper, which she thinks might move at any moment. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous novella The Yellow Wallpaper (1899), the story consists of ten diary entries by Jane, a wife who gets locked into a room. Her physician husband thinks that the seclusion will help her get over what he assumes is depression. As the story progresses, Jane increasingly relates with a trapped woman whom she envisions living inside the room’s yellow wallpaper.
In Munro’s first book, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), several of the female narrators possess characteristics that keep them isolated from their communities, like Almeda in ‘‘Meneseteung.’’
Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women (1972), a collection of interconnected short stories that some critics refer to as a novel, examines the life of Del Jordan. Del is exposed to the underworld of crime and outcasts on The Flats Road, a seamy area like the Pearl Street region described in ‘‘Meneseteung.’’ The book explores Del’s coming of age as a woman and a writer, including her experiences with sex and religion.
Several critics have noted the photorealistic qualities of Munro’s fiction, including the stories in Friend of My Youth. In Susan Sontag’s landmark essay collection On Photography (1977), the writer thoroughly explores the meaning of photography. Like Munro’s examination of the roles of fiction and reality in the narrative process, Sontag explores the relation between a photograph and the real object that it is meant to represent, including how much truth there is in a photograph.
Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia (1993) involves major characters from two...
(The entire section is 477 words.)