The Beggar Maid
by Alice Munro (1979)
It’s time to move on from a nearly year-long adventure with Munro’s third book, Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You, to Munro’s fourth, 1978’s The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose (called Who Do You Think You Are? elsewhere). We will soon be posting our thoughts on the first story, and I wanted to get this index post up so that any of you who are interested in joining us can get the book and get started.
The Beggar Maid is a collection of short stories that also passes as a novel (hence, it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, a prize that only considers novels). Here we will follow the life of Rose and her stepmother Flo. As with Lives of Girls and Women, the stories here will jump around in setting and perspective, each packing their own punch while creating a larger picture.
This is the anchor post, an index with links to our posts on each story in the collection.
The Beggar Maid contains the following stories:
As I did last time, now that we have finished the book, I wanted to plug how great an experience it has been and look back on the work and thought that went into it. Not that word count counts for much, but Betsy and I compiled over 25,000 words on Munro’s The Beggar Maid, with each post averaging around 2,500 words (Betsy was more prolific than I). We explored a childhood, an adolescence, a marriage, a divorce, a long period of meandering, and a reconciliation to a past that leads to a more open future. And we move on as well, to The Moons of Jupiter and Alice Munro in the 1980s.