10 October 2013

Alice Munro

Today Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  I can think of no living author who deserves this more.  She is now 82 and sadly she recently declared that her 14th book (Dear Life) would be her last.  I discovered Alice late in my reading life.  A friend gave me one of her books (The Love of a Good Woman) and assured me that I would love her.  And I do.  I am often conflicted by her stories and I do not particularly like many of her protagonists but I am always drawn to each one. Her writing and her storytelling are seductive.  So I am actually lucky to have only found her now, because there are so many stories I have yet to read.

There is an additional reason to be happy for this recognition.  Alice Munro is Canadian and this is the first time the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to a Canadian.  When I started reading Alice I considered how many wonderful authors are Canadian.  Certainly there is my favorite Robertson Davies, as well as Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Yann Martel, Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)...
Update : Since writing this today I have learned that Saul Bellow won this prize in 1976.  He was born in Canada but his family moved to Chicago while he was still a boy.  He is known as being an American writer but he was indeed Canadian by birth.

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