Saturday, April 19, 2014
By Karl Ritter And Malin Rising
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Canadian author Alice Munro poses for a photograph at the Canadian Consulate's residence in New York in this Oct. 28, 2002 file photo. Munro was Thursday Oct 10 2013 been named as 2013 Nobel laureate for literature in an an announcement made in Stockholm, Sweden.
AP Photo/Paul Hawthorne
Her most recent collection, “Dear Life,” came out in 2012.
Starting in the 1960s, when she was first published, she has often contrasted her youth in Wingham, a conservative town west of Toronto, and her life after the social upheaval of the ‘60s. Munro herself lived out the fears, and celebrated the liberation, of the educated housewives in Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.”
In an interview with The Associated Press in 2003, she described the ‘60s as “wonderful.”
“Because, having been born in 1931, I was a little old, but not too old, and women like me after a couple of years were wearing miniskirts and prancing around,” she said.
The daughter of a fox farmer and a teacher, she was born Alice Anne Laidlaw, a literary person in a nonliterary town, concealing her ambition like a forbidden passion.
She received a scholarship to study at the University of Western Ontario, majoring in journalism, and was still an undergraduate when she sold a story to CBC radio in Canada. She dropped out to marry a fellow student, James Munro, had three children and became a full-time housewife. By her early 30s, she was so confined, frightened and depressed that she could barely write a full sentence.
Her good fortune was to open a bookstore with her husband, in 1963. Stimulated by everything from the conversation of adults to simply filling out invoices, she saw her narrative talents resurface but her marriage collapse.
Her first collection, “Dance of the Happy Shades,” came out in 1968 and won the Governor General’s prize.
At least in her work, Munro is among the least political of Nobel winners, who in recent years have included Latin America’s Mario Vargas Llosa and British novelist Doris Lessing. In 2003, she told the AP she was not inspired by current events but by memories, anecdotes, gossip. The stories themselves have few topical references or famous names.
“I don’t do a lot of indicators where you can tell what time it is, because that would impinge on me too much. Somebody writing about now would have to have Iraq in it. They need to have the right music and right celebrities and right style of clothes,” she said.
“In ordinary life I am a fairly active, political person. I have opinions and join clubs. But I always want to see what happens with people underneath; it interests me more.”
The 2013 Nobel announcements continue Friday with the Nobel Peace Prize, followed by the economics prize on Monday.