Lives of Girls and Women: A Novel

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013

The only novel from Alice Munro-award-winning author of The Love of a Good Woman–is an insightful, honest book, “autobiographical in form but not in fact,” that chronicles a young girl’s growing up in rural Ontario in the 1940’s.

Del Jordan lives out at the end of the Flats Road on her father’s fox farm, where her most frequent companions are an eccentric bachelor family friend and her rough younger brother. When she begins spending more time in town, she is surrounded by women-her mother, an agnostic, opinionted woman who sells encyclopedias to local farmers; her mother’s boarder, the lusty Fern Dogherty; and her best friend, Naomi, with whom she shares the frustrations and unbridled glee of adolescence.

Through these unwitting mentors and in her own encounters with sex, birth, and death, Del explores the dark and bright sides of womanhood. All along she remains a wise, witty observer and recorder of truths in small-town life. The result is a powerful, moving, and humorous demonstration of Alice Munro’s unparalleled awareness of the lives of girls and women.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. A classic coming of age story with a twist. Alice Munro is truly the master of the short story. “Lives of Girls and Women” deserves to be on everyone’s list of must-read books. Munro is an exceptionally talented writer, one who can take ordinary situations and turn them into something wonderful. Here, she presents a traditional coming of age story, then spices it up with her own unique brand of dry, subtle wit and a host of zany characters. In “Lives,” we follow Dell Jordan from childhood to young adulthood as she…

  2. Great literature – Munro is a master structuralist What an amazing book! This not merely a good book for middle-aged women, or good instruction for girls, or any such claptrap. To label Munro as good “women’s lit” is demeaning to women and demeaning to “The Lives of Girls and Women.” (Plus it makes men who enjoy reading her a bit funny.) It’s a great book! In any category! 

  3. Did the religous guys really ban this?! I think I saw on youtube, that some religious schools banned this novel. Man those guys are easily offended! I think actually this novel is quite innocent. I mean it’s just a little girl who honestly seek some answers to her existential questions in the established religions in her town. Then when she grows a little older she naturally becomes interested in the question of sex, and explore that. What could be more natural and innocent?! I think Alice Munro’s voice is charming and entertaining…

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