December 03, 2013

Spotlight on Munro

This year's Nobel Prize for literature has been awarded not for the novel but for short stories. Stripped to the essentials, short stories are difficult to write well and until recently they have been over-looked by publishers and large prize committees alike. (Although Alice Munro's mastery won her, her first Canada's Governor General's Award in 1968.)

Several years ago, I read a selection of Munro's short stories called: Who Do You Think You Are? Not the best question to ask because even if meant to instruct, (bragging etc.) it is still, as the book points out, a loaded question that can erode self-esteem and undermine one's hopes and dreams.

So throughout the days, months, and years to come, I hope Alice Munro, the first Canadian woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature, feels ten feet tall and levitates a little when she crosses a room because she has earned the right. And should that happen, (doubtful, I'd say, from the interviews I've watched; she has her feet on the ground.) I am sure that no one will have the nerve to ask, Who Do You Think You Are?

A small sample from a prolific writer whose short stories revolve around  people living in small Ontario towns.

But forget tame and bucolic. Psychologically astute, Munro often exposes what people leave unsaid, or would not admit thinking. And she can slide the truth out there in a manner that has often left me blinking.


  1. A Nobel Prize is major! It has been a while since I read some good short stories. I will be reading some by Alice Munro very soon. Thanks, Dixie!

  2. You are welcome, Carolyn.
    I agree. The Nobel Prize is, as you said, a major win! I was so pleased when I heard that she had won.


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