Alice Munro

Alice Ann Munro ( born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short story writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Munro’s work has been described as revolutionizing the architecture of short stories, especially in its tendency to move forward and backward in time.[2] Her stories have been said to “embed more than announce, reveal more than parade.”[3]

Munro’s fiction is most often set in her native Huron County in southwestern Ontario.[4] Her stories explore human complexities in an uncomplicated prose style.[5] Munro’s writing has established her as “one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction”, or, as Cynthia Ozick put it, “our Chekhov.”[6] Munro has received many literary accolades, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her work as “master of the contemporary short story”,[7] and the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. She is also a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for fiction, and received the Writers’ Trust of Canada‘s 1996 Marian Engel Award and the 2004 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Runaway.[7][8][9][10]

 

Early life and education[edit]

Munro was born Alice Ann Laidlaw in Wingham, Ontario. Her father, Robert Eric Laidlaw, was a fox and mink farmer,[11] and later turned to turkey farming.[12] Her mother, Anne Clarke Laidlaw (née Chamney), was a schoolteacher. She is of Irish and Scottish descent; her father is a descendant of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.[13]

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 on a two-year scholarship.[14][15] During this period she worked as a waitress, a tobacco picker, and a library clerk. In 1951, she left the university, where she had been majoring in English since 1949, to marry fellow student James Munro. They moved to Dundarave, West Vancouver, for James’s job in a department store. In 1963, the couple moved to Victoria, where they opened Munro’s Books, which still operates.

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