Alice Munro is considered one of the modern masters of the short story.
Here are some of her stories in alphabetical order of the first word of the title, excluding “A”, “An”, or “The”.
Boys and Girls
The narrator relates a time from her childhood. Her father is a fox farmer; he raises foxes , skins them, and then sells the skins to fur traders. The narrator helps her father with some of the related chores. She prefers this work to helping around the house. She keeps hearing that she will soon do more around the house and behave in a more girl-like way.
Marlene, the adult narrator, tells the story of her time at camp with her friend Charlene when they were about ten-years-old. While sharing information with each other, Marlene tells her about Verna, a girl two or three years older who moved in next to her. Verna was different; she was in a special class at school. Marlene didn’t like her. Some unstated tragedy had occurred in her childhood.
Day of the Butterfly | Alice Munro
Helen remembers Myra, a girl from her Grade Six class. Myra is the target of ridicule and bullying, and doesn’t play with the other girls. One day Helen catches up with Myra as they’re walking to school. They have a friendly talk. Helen is worried that this small bond with Myra will hurt her social standing.
The Found Boat
The Wawanash River overflows its banks every spring. Eva and Carol wade into the water with some boys from school. They find a damaged rowboat. They boys lug it to a backyard and fix it up.
Friend of My Youth
The narrator recounts the life of Flora Grieves. She lived on a farm with her sister, Ellie, and her brother-in-law, Robert. She tells us how the house and work was divided, how Ellie and Robert came to be married, and how Flora responded to the many changes in her life.
Read “Friend of My Youth” (scroll down)
Miles City, Montana
A wife, husband, and their two young daughters are driving to visit the grandparents in Ontario. The wife, who is the narrator, remembers an incident from her childhood when a local boy drowned and was carried home by her father. During the drive, there are some squabbles and the family gets very hot, causing them to look for a cool spot to take a break.
Mrs. Cross and Mrs. Kidd
Mrs. Cross and Mrs. Kidd live at Hilltop Home, a nursing facility. They have known each other for eighty years. They have stayed fairly close, even though there are many differences between them. Their daily routine changes with the arrival of a new resident, Jack, a fifty-nine-year-old who can’t speak due to a stroke.
An Ounce of Cure
The narrator remembers her first love as a teenager. She dated Martin Collingwood for two months before he broke up with her. She is in misery for months. When she gets a job babysitting for the Berrymans, she finds some liquor and decides to have a drink.
Prue lived with Gordon when he left his wife for sixteen months. After he got a divorce, they lived together on and off. Prue is likable and looks on the bright side, not taking the disappointments of life and relationships too seriously. The possibility arises to continue her relationship with Gordon.
Red Dress – 1946
A thirteen-year-old girl is going to be attending a Christmas dance. Her mother is making her a new red dress, but she is becoming self-conscious about wearing homemade clothes. She is awkward and uncomfortable at school and doesn’t expect to do well in the social atmosphere of the dance.
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Rose lives with her father and stepmother in a poor area. Her stepmother relates the story of a local man who gets attacked. She also threatens Rose with a “royal beating.”
The Shining Houses
Mrs. Fullerton has lived in the same house for over forty years. She is standoffish with her neighbors. She sells eggs and is self-sufficient. Her house is old and ill-kept. Newer houses are being built around it, and her neighbors want her house renovated or torn down.
Thanks for the Ride
Two young guys drive into a small town looking for some girls to spend the weekend with. They meet Adelaide and then go to the home of her friend Lois, and meet her family.
Walker Brothers Cowboy | Alice Munro
After going bankrupt, the Jordan family moves to the poor side of town. One day the narrator, a young girl, goes with her father, now a door to door salesman, on some of his sales calls.