Alice Munro

10 Jul

Canada has the privilege to acknowledge some of the world’s best authors.  As such, I would like to introduce you to Alice Munro today.

She was born on July 10, 1931, at Wingham, Ontario.

She’s won so many awards for her short stories.  A few are: Governor General’s Literary Award for English language fiction (1968, 1978, 1986); Canadian Booksellers Award for Lives of Girls and Women (1971); The Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Marian Engel Award (1986) for her body of work; Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (2004) for Runaway; Trillium Book Award for Friend of My Youth (1991), The Love of a Good Woman (1999) and Dear Life (2013); And the list goes on.

Munro began writing as a teenager, publishing her first story, “The Dimensions of a Shadow,” in 1950 while studying English and journalism at the University of Western Ontario.  During this period she worked as a waitress, a tobacco picker, and a library clerk. In 1951, she left the university to marry fellow student James Munro.

Munro married James Munro in 1951. Their daughters Sheila, Catherine, and Jenny were born in 1953, 1955, and 1957 respectively; Catherine died 15 hours after birth.

In 1963, the couple moved to Victoria, where they opened Munro’s Books, which still operates.  In 1966, their daughter Andrea was born. Alice and James Munro divorced in 1972.

In 1976, she married Gerald Fremlin, a cartographer and geographer. The couple moved to a farm outside Clinton, Ontario, and later to a house in Clinton, where Fremlin died on April 17, 2013, at the age of 88.

At a Toronto appearance in October 2009, Munro indicated that she had received treatment for cancer and for a heart condition requiring coronary-artery bypass surgery.

In 2002, her daughter Sheila Munro published a childhood memoir, Lives of Mothers and Daughters: Growing Up With Alice Munro.

On learning she had been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature,

“I am dazed by all the attention and affection that has been coming my way this morning. When I began writing there was a very small community of Canadian writers and little attention was paid by the world. Now Canadian writers are read, admired and respected around the globe. I’m so thrilled to be this year’s recipient [and] hope this brings further recognition to the short story form.”

To learn more about Munro, I can suggest a few sites: World Cat Identities offers a list of her stories with descriptions; The Canadian Encyclopedia; and Open Culture. Finally, I highly recommend you visit Munro’s Books site!




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12 responses to “Alice Munro

  1. Deb

    July 11, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Great post. I never realized the connection between Alice Munro and the book store. It is a truly fabulous book store, one worth visiting when in Victoria.

    • tkmorin

      July 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

      I would love to experience her book store. Looks to be the kind that you could immerse yourself in for a few hours, if not an afternoon. 🙂

      • Deb

        July 11, 2014 at 11:35 am

        Not far from the Victoria waterfront, the Empress hotel and the Royal BC Museum as well .

  2. Gypsy Bev

    July 11, 2014 at 12:11 am

    As a writer, I too was surprised that she won the award for short stories. That is refreshing!

    • tkmorin

      July 11, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Isn’t it though? 🙂

  3. seeker

    July 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Isn’t that great! The canadians at Santiago Compostela cheered about this when we here it. Just awesome.

    • tkmorin

      July 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      I think it’s awesome that short story authors can earn so many awards, as opposed to novel writers. 🙂

      • seeker

        July 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        TK: It is, so start writing. I just sent you a link in FB

        • tkmorin

          July 10, 2014 at 10:27 pm

          Oooh, thanks! 🙂

  4. Michelle Bennetts Heumann

    July 10, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Shelia Munro’s book is really interesting – I used it in a paper last semester.

    • tkmorin

      July 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      She certainly earned her awards, that’s for sure.

      • Michelle Bennetts Heumann

        July 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm

        Oh, I didn’t realize Shelia won awards, too! I knew she got a grant to write her memoir, and I was a bit jealous…although she had a pretty crazy childhood, so she earned it. 😛


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