ALICE MUNRO'S THE ALBANIAN VIRGIN IN OPEN SECRETS EXEMPLIES HER CHARACTERISTIC APPROACH
To try to trace Alice Munro's narrative techniques to any particular development in the short story The Albanian Virgin would be difficult. This could be because it is simply written from careful observations as are many of her other short stories. In her short stories, it is as though she tries to transform a common, ordinary world into something that is unsettling and mysterious as was seen in Vandals. Most of her stories found in Open Secrets, are set or focused on Munro's native Canada, Huron County, and particularly in the small fictional Ontario town of Carstairs, although the setting in The Albanian Virgin is in British Columbia. The story, The Albanian Virgin, found in Open Secrets, exemplifies Munro's characteristic approach to short story writing as it explores central character's lives that are revealed from a combination of first person narrative and third person narrative. By using both narratives, Munro adds realism, some autobiographical information about her own life in the short stories, as the stories are also based on fiction as can it be found in earlier written short stories.
Since many of her stories are based on the region in which she was born, the characters and narrators are often thought of as being about her life and how she grew up; and making her stories appear from a feminist approach. This could also indicate why the central characters in the short stories in Open Secrets, are all women: a young woman kidnapped by Albanian tribesmen in the 1920's in The Albanian Virgin, and a young born-again Christian whose unresolved feelings of love and anger cause her to vandalize a house in Vandals. Her theme has often been the dilemmas of the adolescent girl coming to terms with family and a small town. Her more recent work has addressed the problems of middle age, of women alone, and of the elderly. The characteristic of her style is the...
References: Blodgett, E.D. "Alice Munro." The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus. 1995.
Bloom, Amy. "From Strength to Strength." The Boston Book Review. January/February 1995, Electric Newstand.
MacKendrick, Louis, K. Alice Munro 's Narrative Acts. Downsview, ECW Press, 1983.
Munro, Alice. Open Secrets. Toronto: McClelland & Steward Inc., 1994.
Turbide, Diane. "The Incomparable Storyteller." Maclean 's. October 17, 1994, 46-49.
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