Let me start by saying I haven’t read Building Stories. It sounded really appealing, even before the raves at TOB yesterday but it is also like three times the price of a regular book and not exactly available at libraries.
But I did read Alice Munro’s Dear Life and it was a joy. LIke John Warner, I haven’t finished it because I’m parcelling it out. I rushed through the first half before realising it needed to be savoured. It is everything said yesterday. It is magic, it literally takes your breath away. I loved the way Munro uses language so precisely and economically, suggesting so much depth and story behind what is actually said. The quiet, the suffocation Judge Yu mentions, the ordinary moments hiding the bigger moments. I think he puts it better than I can: “Munro takes us on a complete round trip, to childhood and back to the present moment, drawing in a single stroke a continuous unbroken line of sight that spans a life. She compresses time, and then elongates it, folds it and layers it and works it into complex, tangled shapes.”
So, yeah, it lost. But I just wanted to say that you should read it anyway.