Alice Munro's territory is the farms and semi-rural towns of south- western Ontario. Described by one of her peers as going around with a 'delicate, rueful smile and a wicked pen', she says of herself: 'I guess that maybe as a writer I'm kind of an anachronism...because I write about places where your roots are and most people don't live that kind of life anymore at all. Most writers, probably, the writers who are most in tune with our time, write about places that have no texture because this is where most of us live.' In these powerful tales she brings the landscape of her childhood back to life as she deals with the self-discovery and guilt of those caught in a narrow existence. And in sensitively exploring the lives of ordinary men and women, she makes us aware of the universal nature of their fears, sorrows and aspirations.