Alice Munro

Canadian legend in LongPen revolution

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This article is from 2007.

Alice Munro

A standard piece of advice given to budding fiction writers eager for publication is to forget airy fairy, uncommercial notions of publishing short stories and dive headfirst into the novel. Lovers of the economy and precision of the story respond by pointing to the career of Canadian literary legend Alice Munro who, aside from a single novel, Lives of Girls and Women, has carved a successful 40-year career out of the form.

Across more than ten collections, including The Progress of Love and Runaway, Munro explores what she calls the ‘shameless, marvellous, shattering absurdity’ of life. Her depiction of small town communities has led to comparisons with the great rural Southern miniaturists, Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner. Yet, there’s a lightness, warmth and meticulous attention to detail in Munro’s writing that marks her work out as distinctive. Now 76, and showing no signs of retiring, the native Ontarian recently said of her own writing, ‘That’s something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings.’

The author will be beamed long-distance into an Edinburgh marquee for this rare interview with her fellow grande dame of Canadian letters, Margaret Atwood, and will be signing a limited number of books using Atwood’s intriguing LongPen invention. (Allan Radcliffe)

Recommended Reading: The Moons of Jupiter features tales such as ‘The Turkey Season and ‘Mrs Cross & Mrs Kidd’.

15 Aug, 8pm, £8 (£6).

This article is from 2007.

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