Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014
Family Furnishings is a companion volume to Munro’s previously published Selected Stories. I have the vague impression that the Nobel Prize winning first volume was the better collection. It was difficult for me to follow these stories. Munro is known for her regionalism, family focus, and for the way her stories are disconnected from linear time sequencing. Also, voices and points of view tend to shift. “I want the reader to feel something is astonishing. Not the ‘what happens,’ but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me.” It can be confusing and it was to this reader. Her stories are very dreamlike. There are twenty-four long stories in this collection. They have all been previously published.
The first story in this volume is challenging. It begins with an exhibit in a museum and fades back to reveal the owner’s demise. While ostensibly about a nurse and her dying patient, slowly the author reveals the real drama. Guilt and lost youth are major themes for this writer. If you are already an avid reader of Munro’s fiction, you will anxiously await reading this collection.