Thursday, October 10, 2013


Brilliant news this morning: Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for Literature!!!! She has been one of my favorite authors for years and years. I keep her characters in my head for months after reading one of her stories; they haunt me. Don't know how she does it, but she does it right. Oh, hooray for Ms. Munro, and hooray for the short story, and hooray for Canada.  Scroll down for a few quotations from her work and from interviews.

“A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.”

Alice Munro with her daughters....

 “Every year, when you're a child, you become a different person.”
 from Too Much Happiness

“The constant happiness is curiosity.”

“People’s lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, and unfathomable – 
deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.”

               from Lives of Girls and Women

“What she felt was a lighthearted sort of compassion, almost like laughter. A swish of tender hilarity, getting the better of all her sores and hollows, for the time given.”

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

I lie in bed beside my little sister, listening to the singing in the yard. Life is transformed, by these voices, by these presences, by their high spirits and grand esteem, for themselves and each other. My parents, all of us, are on holiday. The mixture of voices and words is so complicated and varied it seems that such confusion, such jolly rivalry, will go on forever, and then to my surprise—for I am surprised, even though I know the pattern of rounds—the song is thinning out, you can hear the two voices striving.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Then the one voice alone, one of them singing on, gamely, to the finish. One voice in which there is an unexpected note of entreaty, of warning, as it hangs the five separate words on the air. Life is. Wait. But a. Now, wait. Dream.”

―from The Moons of Jupiter

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