Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel prize for her short stories, thus becoming its 13th female recipient. Munro has long been recognized in North America and the UK, but the Nobel will draw international attention to women's writing and to the short story. Anne Enright, an Irish author and a Man Booker Prize winner, wrote that Munro's "stories do not ask for our praise, but for our attention. We feel, when we read them, less lonely than we were before." Her most recent collection, Dear Life, was a NYT Notable Book, and Best Book of the Year according to the Atlantic, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Munro was born in 1931 near Wingham, Ontario, and experienced the Depression as a child and the second world war as a teenager. It's this small-town setting full of everyday people that features most often in her stories – the busybodies, the snobberies, the eccentrics, and the jeering at ambitions, especially artistic ones. Shame and embarrassment are driving forces for Munro's characters. I enjoy reading novels more than short stories, but if you read just one story at a time (some of Munro's stories are 70 pages long) and think about it, it can be very satisfying. Sometimes I feel that our lives are more like a short story than an epic novel.
Our Lives as Short Stories
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I have not yet read any of Alice Munro's books though I am, like so many others, now putting them on my to-read list. Though, for me, it is not just about her being a Nobel prize winner that interests me. I happen to love collections of short stories and think that they are underrated. There are so many collections that I have read with cultural and literary significance. They have a unique and interesting way of connecting people, places, events, tone or themes. One of my favorite authors, that masterly weaves the short story, is Emma Donoghue and I hope I can add Alice Munro to my list.
Like the commenter above, I haven't read anything by Alice Munro. However, as a nobel prize winner? (didn't realize that!) it seems almost a crime not to go out and read her work. Thanks for the tips! Jon, at inredningsvis.se
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