Showing posts with label Alice Munro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alice Munro. Show all posts

May 15, 2024

Alice Munro (1931-2024)

Photograph of Alice Munro's book The Lives of Girls and Women in front of Munro's Books in Victoria, Canada

Alice Munro passed away this week. She's a Canadian legend, a literary giant, and a writer whose short stories about the lives of women were poignant, shocking, challenging, and devastating. She was a marvelous storyteller who didn't waste words. For her work she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013.

As a child, Alice Munro loved to read. Her Nobel Prize biographical page describes how she enjoyed reading books by fellow Canadian author L.M. Montgomery, as well as Dickens, Tennyson, and Emily Bronte. After Alice Munro completed college, she moved to Victoria, British Columbia. She and her then-husband James opened a bookstore. Munro began publishing stories of everyday women, often set in rural Ontario, Canada, stories that others might not find worth telling about women that others might never notice.

I sometimes think about the fact that three of my favorite authors are L.M. Montgomery, Alice Munro, and Margaret Atwood. All three authors are Canadian women who have written memorable and meaningful stories about girls and women.

One of the most poignant and puzzling films I've watched in the past couple years was Away from Her (2006), a film directed by the Canadian filmmaker and writer Sarah Polley. There's an L.M. Montgomery connection here too. Sarah Polley once starred as Sara Stanley in Road to Avonlea, a television series that was based on L.M. Montgomery's stories. After retiring from acting, Sarah Polley began telling stories in her own way on film. Away from Her was Polley's directorial debut. The film was based on Alice Munro's short story, "The Bear Came over the Mountain," which was published in the short story collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. I re-read Munro's short story a couple years back and reflected on it here. It's the story of what happens to a man and his wife when the wife develops Alzheimer's disease.

Two summers ago, I visited Victoria, British Columbia for the first time. I had read about Munro's Books as being a special bookstore to visit, at first not realizing that it was once Alice Munro's bookstore. But once I knew, I had to go. Visiting the store was somewhat of an unintentional pilgrimage, but maybe one that was meant to be. I bought a copy of one of Alice Munro's books there (pictured above).

Image credit:
Photograph by World of Anne Shirley.

Created May 15, 2024.