Lives of Girls and Women (First Canadian Edition)

BY Alice Munro
Book Information1/1/0/CA/MGH-RY/1971/?  •  224x154x30  •  539  •  Nobel'13

"Lives of Girls and Women" is Alice Munro's second book and first and only (composite) novel published in October 1971 by McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Ryerson Press, which published Munro's first book in 1969, was sold to McGraw-Hill the following year to form McGraw-Hill Ryerson. According to Thacker*, all materials connected with the publication of this book seemed to have destroyed by the published, so there is no reliable figure for the first printing size.

Munro started working on this novel, originally titled "Real Life", in January of 1970, and completed the manuscript by December. However, she was unsatisfied with the epilogue and continued to work on it until just before publication. Dedicating the book to her then husband, Jim, Munro acknowledged that she worked on this book with the acknowledgement that her marriage was coming to an end (they divorced in 1972). This perhaps explains why there is a disclaimer on the copyright page stating that the story is autobiographical in form but not in fact. The finished book is a Bildungsroman, a sort of "girl-growing-up thing" as she described it to her editor in a letter. The book's title was finally settled as "Lives of Girls and Women" upon released news that Deborah Pease, a novelist and poet who went on to become the editor of The Paris Review, was to published a novel named "Real Life" as well.  

This is the first Canadian edition first printing with first state dust jacket that is unclipped and without price, as issued. The book is bound in cream clothed board with green lettering, and has no topstain. The copyright page should state "Copyright McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1971" and "Printed and bound in Canada". There is a separate American edition of this title with a different dust jacket published in the September 1972.

This book is increasing rare and a VG copy with first state dust jacket is now quite hard to find. The listing price on Abebooks, of which only a few copies are available, is $350 onwards. This is a VG copy with a VG dust jacket with chippings, scuffs, and sunning, and a VG book with tanning at edges, light crease at spine, and a remainder mark at the bottom edge. 
There are no official signed first editions but you can find signed copies of this edition. Munro's signature is rather simple, so caveat emptor.

* Thacker, Robert. (2011). Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives, A Biography. Random House.


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