Monday, 10 August 2009

What you can do in a single paragraph

The Moons of Jupiter

The Moons of Jupiter

"Cousin Iris from Philadelphia. She was a nurse. Cousin Isabel from Des Moines. She owned a florist shop. Cousin Flora frm Winnipeg, a teacher; Cousin Winifred from Edmonton, a lady accountant. Maiden ladies, they were called. Old maids was too thin a term, it would not cover them. Their bosoms were heavy and intimidating -- a single, armored bundle -- and their stomachs and behinds full and corseted as those of any married woman. In those days it seemed to be the thing for women's bodies to swell and ripen ot a good size twenty, if they were getting anything out of life at all; then, according to class and aspirations, they would either sag and loosen, go wobbly as custard under pale print dresses and damp aprons, or be girded into shapes whose firm curves and proud slopes had nothing to do with sex, everything to do with rights and power."

-Canadian writer Alice Munro, from the story Chaddeleys and Flemings, in the collection The Moons of Jupiter. I've been a long time reading this book because it's so concentrated. Each short story is like a miniature novel.

You can buy it at Fishpond here.

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