Her stories deal frankly with matters of life and death. They are written with the assurance of someone with complete mastery of the form and contain events that feel entirely convincing, in fact, they seem reassuringly inevitable.
Munro's stories sound like ideal math proofs: short and deceptively simple, moving back and forth between foreground (theorems) and background (lemmas), opening out to resolve a web of questions, revealing vistas of far-flung applications.
Her form of social critique isn't showy, and it doesn't involve preaching. Instead, it's about giving voice to a different type of woman: working-class women, older women, mentally-ill women, those women who normally appear only as tropes or stereotypes when they appear at all.
Alice Munro's writing, like all great writing, teaches us to be human. It engages big questions in small spaces: What does it mean to be regional? What does it mean to be Canadian? What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be betrayed?
European and Middle Eastern countries are often bounded by hostile neighbors. The Battle of Britain was a turning point in the Second World War. Yet ...
A writer's life cut short -- Keats, Marlowe, the Brontës -- haunts literary history, and the writer's fear of dying prematurely, before fulfilling his potential, once made for some of the West's finest writing. How fittingly modern, then, that writers nowadays could, in effect, live too long.
We asked the writers these questions: What do you like about writing short stories, and if you also write novels, how do you compare the writing?
What is most compelling about Alice Munro's stories is the sense we have of peering into the darkest recesses of people's hearts, eavesdropping, learning their tortured secrets. In an age of reality TV this may seem passé.
The number one rule to follow if you want to read more is to SIT down and do it. Read while eating lunch. Substitute two chapters of a book for one Facebook visit and instead of tweeting, read a book.
Last night the 16th annual Giller Prize celebrated excellence in Canadian literature, reminding us of the incredible dedication, passion and talent with which authors in this great nation write.
I don't complain because I'm unhappy. Writers in general don't seem to complain any more than musicians or painters or any other group of free-lance workers, they just tend to do it better.
Not merely launching a career but keeping it going over time, not just combining family and work but continuing to stay vital for the long haul, is what excites me.