Sunday, May 28, 2023

Lola Alice's book did not get burned in the Great Post Office Fire!

Alice Munro A Wilderness Station

My copy of Alice Munro's A Wilderness Station: Selected Stories, 1968-1994 arrived in the mail three days ago. It was literally through the mail—the PhilPost, not through FedEx or LBC—just around the time when I had come to terms with the real possibility that the parcel may have been burned in the Great Manila Post Office Fire. The postal man rang the doorbell and thereupon caused Paul to welcome him with a bark, jolting the neighbors who were perhaps resting after their morning ritual of sweeping dead leaves on the street. The Il Postino (a great Italian film, by the way) brought the secondhand—rather pre-loved—copy from Thriftbooks, via Amazon. I had placed the order last March but I was repeatedly notified that the delivery was going to be late, as in most cases with secondhand books. I have pre-loved, loved, and will post-love this copy. (I imagine that Kuya John D, who was initially lukewarm towards Lola Alice, will be amused at my ghastly play of words.)

Alice Munro delights my soul deeply, for she does things with words that no one can quite replicate. What I also like about her is her love and curiosity for all things small town and country and rural. She writes:

"The reason I write so often about the country to the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it . . . I am intoxicated by this particular landscape, by the almost flat fields, the swamps, the hardwood bush lots, by the continental climate with its extravagant winters. I am at home with the brick houses, the falling-down barns, the occasional farms that have swimming pools and airplanes, the trailer parks, the burdensome old churches, Wal-Mart, and Canadian Tire. I speak the language." 

You can read the entire page (p. xv) of her introduction to the book below.


I never cared much for the stories in big cities. I have lived in one for half my life. But it is the countryside that intrigues and captivates me. Underneath the morning greetings for neighbors and the seemingly simple joys of friends and families are many conflicts that can be subjects for Munro-esque stories! Just listen to the local radio.  

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