"Whether Alice Munro's The Beggar Maid is a collection of stories or a new kind of novel I'm not quite sure, but whatever it is, it's wonderful. The psychological precision...is a delight, and the startling twists -- the unexpected leaps in time, the transformation of familiar characters -- they make the book what books ought to be, a little wild, a little mysterious." -- John Gardner
In this exhilarating series of interweaving stories, Alice Munro re-creates the evolving bond -- one that is both constricting and empowering -- between two women in the coupe of almost forty years. One is Flo, practical, suspicious of other people's airs, at times dismayingly vulgar. The other is Rose, Flo's stepdaughter, a clumsy, shy girl who somehow-in spite of Flo's ridicule and ghastly warnings -- leaves the small town she grew up in to achieve her own equivocal success in the larger world.
"The stories are absolutely wonderful-every word she writes is interesting." -- Alice Adams
"The best stories of the year." -- The Nation