April 12, 2010

Pudding's Progress

"He thinks he remembers Violet coming for supper, as she sometimes did, bringing with her a pudding, which she set outside in the snow to keep cool. (None of the farmhouses had a refrigerator in those days.) Then it snowed, and the snow covered the pudding dish, which sank from sight. Dane remembers Violet tramping around in the snowy yard after dark, calling, 'Pudding, pudding, here pudding!' as if it were a dog. Himself laughing immoderately, and his mother and father laughing in the doorway, and Violet elaborating the performance, stopping to whistle."
--Alice Munro, "A Queer Streak"
Ah, how I wish I had some pudding chilling in the snow. Better yet, I wish I had a dog to call Pudding. Alice Munro's collection of stories, The Progress of Love, is a quite satisfying read. I had been hoping for quite some time to find a book that would consume me with the loveliness of its words. This is a short story collection that does just that, leaving me to desire nothing so much as an iced tea to keep me tied to this world while sinking temporarily, ecstatically, into another.

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