Born into the back streets of a small Canadian town, Rose battled incessantly with her practical and shrewd stepmother, Flo, who cowed her with tales of her own past and warnings of the dangerous world outside. But Rose was ambitious - she won a scholarship and left for Toronto where she married Patrick. She was his Beggar Maid, 'meek and voluptuous, with her shy white feet', and he was her knight, content to sit and adore her-Alice Munro's wonderful collection of stories reads like a novel following Rose's life as she moves away from her impoverished roots and forges her own path in the world.
'The greatest living short story writer' A. S. Byatt, Sunday Times
"The stories are absolutely wonderful...every word she writes is interesting" -- Alice Adams "She has a touch of genius" Mail on Sunday "The best stories of the year" The Nation "A work of great brilliance and depth- Munro's power of analysis, of sensations and thoughts, is almost Proustian in it's sureness" New Statesman "Alice Munro captures a kaleidoscope of lights and depths-she manages to reproduce the vibrant practice of life while scrutinizing the workings of her own narrative art-an exhilarating collection" New York Times