Congratulations, Alice Munro!

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.




New York Times on Alice Munro Winning the Nobel Prize

Five Fast Facts You Need to Know about Alice Munro

39 Things

Yesterday I had a big birthday. To my mind, the one before the conventionally-thought-of biggie is actually more daunting, because then you know you only have one year to stare it down. To wait for it to hit. D-Day. The Birthday of Doom. Lordy Lordy.

So, in honor of my birthday, here is a list of writing resolutions/goals, things I hope to achieve in this last year before the Big One really hits.

39 Things

1. Finish one memoir.

2. Find one great title for said memoir.

3. Write three short stories.

4. Make twenty (or more!) submissions to literary journals or magazines.

5. Get five acceptance letters.

6. Write five poems.

7. Write one song.

8. See my name in print twice (not counting on my own blogs).

9. Find one perfect, wonderful, and, more to the point, amenable, literary agent.

Care to share your birthday goals for this year?