Alice Munro is not only revered, she is cherished, her stories handled lovingly, turned over and over, gazed at and studied and breathed in with something approaching awe. She has never, over the years, written the way any of her contemporaries have. Her stories are open, overflowing with life, unlike the curt and obscure minimalist stories so fashionable in the Seventies and Eighties. But no one could accuse her of being traditional, either. With all their fullness of narrative and character, her stories are elegant and sharp, pared down—sometimes shockingly so. Her new collection, Dear Life, is as rich and astonishing as anything she has done before.