Category: Munro, Alice

on “Dimensions” by Alice Munro


[CN: Misogyny, abuse, family violence, spoilers]

(im pulling quotes from the story as it appears in the collection TOO MUCH HAPPINESS, the New Yorker version in the link has some differences such as the name of the hotel.)

“Dimensions,” or “Dimension” singular as it appears in the New Yorker, starts with us meeting Doree as she is taking an extended bus trip to some place out of her way in London (two transfers and “a hundred odd miles.”) Munro doles out some details, but they leave a lot unexplained, and they lay down a foreboding tone.

She was a chambermaid at the Blue Spruce Inn. She scrubbed bathrooms and stripped and made beds and vacuumed rugs and wiped mirrors. She liked the work — it occupied her thoughts to a certain extent and tired her out so that she could sleep at night.

Damn, what kind of calamity has struck this woman so that these horrible aspects of work are actually a salve?