If any of you listen to NPR as assiduously as I do you woke to the news that Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for literature. I felt so tickled when I heard this! I think that’s because Alice Munro is one of those frequently anthologized masters whom I’ve always admired, read around the margins, felt was necessary—even though I can’t say I’ve read a whole book of her stories (I will now, methinks). Her subject matter is domestic in the most quietly terrifying of ways, and she has a very distinctive voice.
On NPR I learned also that she’s only the 13th woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature and that she recently decided to stop writing (wow: how does one do that?). And, more interestingly, that she started writing short stories thinking that novels would follow, but they never did. Her win, I think, is good news for short-story writers everywhere, who need to be brave in the face of people who wonder when they’re going to grow up and start writing novels.
I thought this article from Slate, “I Once Thought I Didn’t Like Alice Munro,” was perfect. Give it a read.