Books: Call It Fiction

LIVES OF GIRLS AND WOMEN by ALICE MUNRO 250 pages. McGraw-Hill. $6.95.

Despite this young Canadian's conventional disclaimer that her novel is "autobiographical in form but not in fact," the pleasure to be taken from it comes from its fidelity to things as we imagine they really were. The book is a fiction for people who like to read brittle, yellow clips from newspapers published in towns where they never lived, who like to look through the snapshot albums of imperfect strangers.

Alice Munro uses a narrator named Del Jordan. She tells of growing to college age in the 1940s, in rural Canada,...

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