Friday, October 11, 2013

Literary Ruralism (Part VI): Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Here's the lede from yesterday's New York Times story announcing her prize:
Alice Munro, the renowned Canadian short-story writer whose visceral work explores the tangled relationships between men and women, small-town existence and the fallibility of memory, won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.
Like most everything I have read or heard about Munro's work since the prize was announced, this piece notes that she frequently set her work in small towns.  For example, a fuller feature on Munro in today's New York Times includes this description:
Set largely in small-town and rural Canada and often focused on the lives of girls and women, her tales have the swoop and density of big, intimate novels, mapping the crevices of characters’ hearts with cleareyed Chekhovian empathy and wisdom.
Great to see a source like the New York Times recognizing that you can have swoop and density in small-town and rural places.  The media--and popular culture--so often present these places and their denizens as simple, cardboard cut-outs.

Munro lives in Clinton, Ontario, population 3,082.  She had earlier this year announced her retirement.

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