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Munro Country

Cheryl Strayed writes…
"The sight of her knocked me sideways, the way so many of her stories had. At the sound of her voice, I wept. I'd not expected this. Futilely, I searched my purse for a tissue, as unobtrusively as I could, mortified by my tiny gasps and copious tears. I gave up and wiped my face with my bare hands and tried to concentrate on her words. She was reading a story called "Nettles," the crowd breathing with one breath. I weaved in and out of listening and quietly weeping, the tears seeping ridiculously out of me, despite my inner pleadings that I get a grip. Later, I'd laugh when I told this story. I'd say that when I saw Alice Munro, I understood for the first time all those screaming, inconsolable girls in old footage of the Beatles in the '60s. And yet that wasn't what was happening at all. I wasn't crying for joy or excitement or because I was overcome with emotion to see someone I loved from afar. I was crying because something had come to an end. I knew it only in glimmers-it would take years until I fully understood-that a spell cast long before had been broken the moment Alice Munro walked onto the stage."
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