Saturday, 14 December 2013

Alice Munroe; Nobel Prize winning short storyist tells her story

My followers are probably used to hearing the story of how I believe I became a writer; the day in reception class we listened to an Aesop's Fable then were asked to write something ourselves, and I realized that 'real people write the lovely stories'. 



Alice Munro in 2009. (Peter Morrison / AP)

But Alice Munroe's story is even more wonderful…it involves hearing Hans Christian Anderson read aloud his story 'The Little Mermaid' himself.


During this interview which was played at the nobel ceremony for Munroe's award for literature, she is also asked some crucial questions like 'what is important when you tell a story?' and  'when you start a story do you always have it plotted out?' She is also asked some pretty clueless questions, but those get short shrift!

She tells us how her husband helped her writing because 'he thought of it as an admirable thing to do', and talks very openly about her relationship with her mother. 

Go to
 http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1973to hear the entire interview, including scenes in Munro's bookshop.

 Munro received this award in 2009; more recently she announced she is retiring from writing stories. In an interview with Canada’s National Post after winning Ontario’s Trillium Book Award, the 81-year-old says she’s “probably not going to write anymore.…When you’re my age, you don’t wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be. It’s like, at the wrong end of life, sort of becoming very sociable.”


I have always loved Munroe for her clear, simple prose and yet find her stories complex to the point of being Chekhov-like in their exploration of human nature. So, it's a sad thought that we will never again read a new story by Munroe; we will have to satisfy ourselves by re-reading all 14 of her collections - her latest being Dear Life, which came out last year.


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