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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 15, 2013/ 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

And the winner is ... Alice Munro!

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel."

--Alice Munro

Nobel Laureate for Literature, 2013

Alice Munro, a forgiving and understanding sort, like the best of persons and writers, would surely be kind enough to overlook that exclamation mark in the headline over this column, even if her short stories are the kind that might never use one. British Reserve and all that. It's been said that people who use exclamation points are like those who laugh at their own jokes. Not done. Certainly not by a proper Canadian (if that phrase isn't a tautology) like this new Nobel laureate, whose short stories rival those of John Cheever in quality though quite different in character. They're kinder, gentler, full of sympathy and identification with their characters and with the human condition, specifically the middle-class variety thereof. Which somehow makes her prose all the more devastating, like being resigned to the way we are without ever being subdued by it. Her fiction is one more testament to what a piece of work is man -- and woman.

The news that Alice Munro had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature almost restores one's faith in that prestigious award, so regularly more prestigious than deserved. And so often bestowed for purely political reasons.

This year's Nobel Prize for literature should certainly educate any of us who have been laboring under the delusion that "Canadian writing" is an oxymoron. Canada may be described as a vast land with some of the most beautiful scenery and most boring people in the world, but Alice Munro's short stories shatter that last stereotype. Gently and definitively. All you have to do is read the first sentence of one of her stories and you're sucked in, caught, enthralled, fascinated -- in the most proper, polite, Canadian way, of course.

Now the whole world has recognized Alice Munro. And now, probably like many another fan of her work, I'm both delighted and dismayed -- for here I'd thought that, despite all the acclaim she's received over the years, she was my secret. That's how personal, how familiar, how intimate and understanding her prose can be. It's a little like being a member of the multitudinous Orwell Cult yet convinced we're the only ones who really get him.

Julie Bosman of the New York Times came up with a much better description of Mrs. Munro's talent than the generic, almost perfunctory praise from the Swedish Academy, which chooses each year's laureate for literature. It cited her as "master of the contemporary short story." Which is like describing Rembrandt as an accomplished painter in his time. Julie Bosman knows better. In her news story/analysis, she cited Alice Munro's "modesty and subtle wit," a phrase which comes much closer to the mark.



Alice Munro writes the way any genteel Southern matriarch with a sense of politesse and an eagle eye would talk -- understated and perfect. You'd think Mrs. Munro was one of those ladies in a small town somewhere between Lake Village, Ark., and Biloxi, Miss., who's run the bookstore for years while she was raising three daughters. Which is just what Alice Munro of Clinton, Ontario, did while she was composing her masterpieces, which are short only in length. They're never short in depth.

Mrs. Munro knows that a short story isn't just an abbreviated art form that wants to be a novel when it grows up. She said she'd labored under that delusion for years before realizing the short story has an integrity of its own. No one who knows her work -- or John Cheever's -- will ever make that mistake again.

No writer need ever apologize for a fine short story, though there are innumerable novels published that sorely need apologizing for.

When the people at the Swedish Academy finally tracked her down to give Mrs. Munro the good news, they found her visiting one of her daughters in Victoria, British Columbia, an idealized version of a British seaside town, complete with carefully tended flower gardens and a high tea at the Empress Hotel that would compare to any in Victorian times.

When the press asked her for a comment on her Nobel, she said, among other more than gracious things, that she hoped her award would bring more attention to Canadian writing. As usual, the lady was engaging in understatement. Her work not only redeems a national literature but the short story itself.

It takes only a little imagination to hear Anton Chekhov, the great Russian short-story writer and playwright, beam with satisfaction at this news, and in his always concise fashion, sigh: At last!

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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