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Alice Munro Wins the Man Booker International Award Today

abstract:Canadian short-story specialist, Alice Munro has today won the biannuel Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000. It is awarded once every two years to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage. This is only the third time the award has been named. Ismail Kadarι won in 2005 and Chinua Achebe won in 2007. Munro's next collection of short stories, Too Much Happiness, (Douglas Gibson, McClelland & Stewart) will be published in October 2009. The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2009 is: Jane Smiley, writer; Amit Chaudhuri, writer, academic and musician; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov. The panel made the following comment on the winner: "Alice Munro is mostly known as a short story writer and yet she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels. To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before." Wikipedia says, "Munro's work is often compared with the great short story writers. For example, the American writer Cynthia Ozick called Munro 'our Chekhov.' In Munro stories, as in Chekov's, plot is secondary and 'little happens.' As with Chekov, Garan Holcombe notes: 'All is based on the epiphanic moment, the sudden enlightenment, the concise, subtle, revelatory detail.' Munro's work deals with "love and work, and the failings of both. She shares Chekov’s obsession with time and our much-lamented inability to delay or prevent its relentless movement forward."

article:

May 26, 2009
— A few years ago I was visiting a dear friend in Victoria, BC. Victoria is the capital of Canada's most western province. People expect the more populated city of Vancouver to be the capital, but nope, it's Victoria, and to make matters more confusing Victoria is located on Vancouver Island, a ferry ride away. As the seat of parliament there are many beautiful and historic buildings: the provincial museum, the majestic Canadian Pacific Empress Hotel, and homes of some of BC's renowned residents, such as painter and author Emily Carr. Downtown Victoria, next to the Hudson Bay store (a company that helped open up Canada through the fur trade), there is a wonderful book store called Munro Books. I was browsing the stacks and admiring the original quilt art depicting BC landscapes in colorful fabrics when it finally dawned on me that this was the famous Canadian author's ex-husband's store! Alice Laidlaw met and married James Munro out of university in Ontario and together they moved to the West Coast and had three daughters and started the book store. Alice eventually divorced James and both have since remarried. For many years Alice lived back East, but she currently divides her time between a small farming town in rural Ontario and Comox, BC an arts community just a little farther up the Island.

Alice Munro is the author of one novel and six collections of short stories prior to Open Secrets: Stories and The Love of a Good Woman : Stories. She is a three-time winner of Canada's highest literary award, the Governor General, or GG as it is commonly known; the Lannan Literary Award; and the W. H. Smith Award. given to the best book published in the United Kingdom. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.

You might want to start with this, Alice Munro's Best: Selected Stories

Body of Work

Dance of the Happy Shades – 1968 (winner of the 1968 Governor General's Award for Fiction)
Lives of Girls and Women – 1971
Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You – 1974
Who Do You Think You Are? – 1978 (winner of the 1978 Governor General's Award for Fiction)
The Moons of Jupiter – 1982 (nominated for a Governor General's Award)
The Progress of Love – 1986 (winner of the 1986 Governor General's Award for Fiction)
Friend of My Youth – 1990 (winner of the Trillium Book Award)
Open Secrets – 1994 (nominated for a Governor General's Award)
Selected Stories – 1996
The Love of a Good Woman – 1998 (winner of the 1998 Giller Prize)
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage – 2001
No Love Lost – 2003
Vintage Munro – 2004
Runaway – 2004 (winner of the 2004 Giller Prize) ISBN 1-4000-4281-X The View from Castle Rock – 2006

What Defines the Short Story Genre?

Wikipedia has the answer.

 

 

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