[Audio of Alice Munro being interviewed officially by Adam Smith of NobelPrize.org. At the 3.08ish minute mark, she says that she might reconsider retirement now that she’s been given the Nobel Prize. Which would be excellent.]
News media today moves way too fast. And, whatever your views might be on the awarding of elite and, often, controversial prizes like the Nobel, there is one major benefit to all such awards. They bring, at least till the next major news cycle, talented and skilled individuals to the mainstream ambient awareness. And for that, if nothing else, they are necessary.
So, of course, there is a deluge of articles about Munro out there now. Below is a set of some of the best links that you might consider diving into — particularly the several free stories online.
— The Guardian’s Top 10 Things To Know About Alice Munro.
— Canada’s Globe and Mail explains Alice Munro’s genius.
— If there’s just one Alice Munro interview you want to read, The Paris Review’s Art of Fiction Interview is it.
— The Booker Prize over in the UK gave their award to Munro in 2009 for Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001). Here’s a charming speech by Jane Smiley in honor of that win, delivered at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
— For all things Alice Munro at CBC Radio and TV, go here.
— The New Yorker has you covered if you want to know what other writers think of Alice Munro.
— The Guardian again with more of what other writers think of Alice Munro (and, A S Byatt’s opening sentence of “This is the Nobel announcement that has made me happiest in the whole of my life.” says it all.) [Added Friday, Oct 11th, 2013]
— Some stories you can read for free online:
— If you need some handy-dandy guides for where to start with Munro’s works, there are several to choose from, depending on your literary inclination and mood:
- USA Today’s Alice Munro Reading List
- The Slate on Alice Munro’s Best Stories
- Flavorwire’s Beginner’s Guide to Alice Munro
- Book Riot on Getting Started With Alice Munro
- The Millions’ Beginner’s Guide to Alice Munro
— And, if you’re a movie person, try the Oscar-nominated film, Away from Her (2006), directed by Sarah Polley and based on the story “The Bear Came over the Mountain” from the collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001). A beautiful, poetic story of unconditional love, memory, growing old….
Let’s end with a lovely quote from Ms Munro:
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.
UPDATE Dec 8, 2013: Since Alice Munro was not well enough to travel to Sweden to accept her Nobel Prize, this video interview of hers was uploaded by NobelPrize.org.