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Alice Munro

Alice Munro only writes short stories; in more than four decades as a published writer, she has never produced a conventional novel. She has often been characterised as a "regional" writer, because her fictional terrain tends to map that hotbed of excitement, Ontario, Canada; occasionally her characters make wild forays into Vancouver, or other parts of British Columbia. Her protagonists are generally (though not exclusively) women, and consequently her subjects and settings are often domestic. With so much supposedly counting against her, it is frankly a miracle that anyone reads Munro at all....And yet there she is, one of the most important and admired writers in contemporary English letters — for excellent reason.


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Life and Career

  • Alice Munro 1979
  • Saturday Review: Profile: Alice Munro: Riches of a double life: Brought up on the wrong side of the tracks in Canada, she found reading - then writing - was an escape from a difficult home life. Descr
    She writes of turkey gutting and fox farming, of trees felled in the Ontario wilderness, of harsh country schools and lingering illnesses, of familiar violence and obscure shame, and above all, of the lives of girls and women. And while... more
  • Alice Munro hears voices of her ancestors: Short stories mix fiction with personal history
    Minutes from the shores of Lake Huron in western Ontario, three towns form an isosceles triangle, bounded by no more than 50 kilometers, that Alice Munro's readers may know well. more
  • Another little story comes along: A profile of Alice Munro
    Since 1968, when her first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades, was published, Alice Munro has earned esteem, awards, adn a growing and grateful readership for her eleven volumes of fiction. Dance of the Happy Shades and Who Do... more
  • The incomparable storyteller. (author Alice Munro) (includes guide to other new books by Canadian authors) (Interview)
    In fact, that kind of praise is not uncommon for the 63-year-old author. Sinc e her first book of short stories, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), won the Governor General's Awar d (the first of three), Munro has attracted every kind of... more
  • Making a short story long; Alice Munro has always crammed the breadth of a novel into every intricate story. Now, she says, she has nothing more to say, writes Judy Stoffman
    Alice Munro's new book The View from Castle Rock will be her last - or so she says. It caps an astonishing career that has won her legions of devoted readers and every writing prize short of the Nobel. She turned 75 in July and believes she has... more
  • A storyteller's eye In her new collection, Alice Munro - a master of the short story - spins universal tales from the vantage point of small-town Canada
    Last year, Alice Munro, the Canadian short story writer, announced that she was finally laying down her pen. "There isn't going to be a next book," she told the British newspaper The Guardian. Her 2001 collection, "Hateship, Friendship,... more

Quote

  • "I haven't read a novel that I didn't think couldn't have been a better story." Alice Munro 1999
  • "I haven't read a novel that I didn't think couldn't have been a better story." The long and short of Alice Munro:
    Alice Munro says she will never write the great Canadian novel and it's all the fault of her three daughters. "When I started writing, I had small children," Munro said in a recent Citizen interview, "and I had a house to run and I didn't have... more

Criticism

  • Alice Munro 1981
  • "Don't tell (on) daddy": Narrative complexity in Alice Munro's "The Love of a Good Woman
    In "Everything Here is Touchable and Mysterious," Alice Munro recalls an annual event in her early life, the flooding of the Maitland River, Which "came upon [the people of Wingham, Ontario] with a Biblical inevitability" every spring... more
  • Munro's HOW I MET MY HUSBAND
    Alice Munro has repeatedly described secrecy as crucial to her childhood coping mechanisms (Pfaus 2; Ross 19), as well as to her early self-identification as a writer and her initial writing efforts (Gibson 246; Ross 19, 55). Thus, it is... more
  • Munro's WALKER BROTHERS COWBOY
    Munro gives the role of Clotho, the spinner of the thread of life and the one who sings of things the way they are, to the narrator's mother. Ben's wifewho dominates his life. All his actions, including the decision to take his children on the... more
  • Reading female sexual desire in Alice Munro's 'Lives of Girls and Women.'
    What defines plausibility is the formal principle of respect for the norm, that is, the existence of a relation of implication between the particular conduct attributed to a given character, and a given, general, received and implicit... more
  • There's Got to Be Some Wrenching and Slashing: Horror and Retrospection in Alice Munro's "Fits"
    A story is not a road to follow . . . it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is... more