The Progress of Love

BY Alice Munro
Book Information1/1/0/CA/MS/1986/o.15,000  •  236x160x37  •  667  •  Nobel'13  •  GGA'86

"The Progress of Love" is Munro's sixth original short stories collection that firmly established her as one of the finest Canadian writer. Originally contracted to be published by MacMillan Canada, Munro, through her agent, asked MacMillan to cancel the contract following the departure of Douglas Gibson because of Munro's desire to retain Gibson as her editor. After some protracted negotiation, MacMillan agreed to rescind the contract, and Munro signed with McClelland and Stewart instead, where Gibson joined, and "The Progress of Love" would become the first book published under Douglas Gibson Books, a personal imprint established within McClelland and Stewart. Alfred Knopf, still the US publisher, took over the typesetting for this book, and the US edition was published on 15 September, 1986 - five days earlier than the Canadian edition - making it the chronological first edition. However, the editorial works were done by Gibson at McCelland and Steward, so the Canadian edition is still the true bibliographical first edition and it would go on to win Munro's third and last Governor General's Award. The jacket design is Alex Coville's "Elm Tree at Horton's Landing".

The book was well received by the critics. Michiko Kakutani lauded Munro's stories as "pictures that possess both the pain and immediacy of life, and the clear, hard radiance of art". Joyce Carol Oates, noting that Munro's stories have the moral and emotional densities of other writers' novels, singled out "The Progress of Love" as one of the finest stories from this collection.

This is the first Canadian edition first printing with first state dust jacket that is unclipped, reflecting the correct price of $22.95. This is also the first of Munro's Canadian editions with its price printed on the front flap. The book is bound in yellow board and green clothed spine with gilt lettering, and has no topstain.  The copyright page should state "Copyright (C) 1986 by Alice Munro" with no mention of additional printing.

This book is not particularly rare and a VG copy can be purcahsed from eBay or abebooks at about $50. This is a VG+ copy with a NF dust jacket and a VG+ book that is tight and clean but suffers from yellowing at page edges. 
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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