I was first drawn to Alice at 16. I picked up a copy of one of her earlier books: “Friend of My Youth”. I read the title short story
first, of course. Then went on to read “Meneseteung”, (in the same book). At the time, this story really made an impression on me; it
not being one of her more popular short stories. However, I loved the book. It was my initial Alice Munro imprint. Now, over 20 years
ago I look back in gratitude. Theatre school did not promote her much. And 20 years ago, Canadian playwrights were not translating
her Short Stories into Plays.
A decade later at York U, I came across her again in an Anthology of Short stories and I noticed her work had evolved; the voices of
characters were tonal with a swifter stylistic writing approach and there seemed to be something closer to the more personal; her
distance from herself started to close in undertone; she was more comfortable with revealing the ‘closer to home’ self in her stories–
be they locale, women, point of view. Perhaps, she became, as the stories published more frequently, fearless in the attempt to reveal
what was hers. Eventually, [recently] I bought a Penguin book of Alice’s titled “My Best Short Stories”. After all, her books are ALL
available at the Toronto Public Library–less costly and easy to take out to read! I wanted to see what [despite editorial bias from the publisher] She may have deemed her Best Short Stories. I was curious to read these, surprisingly some, [not what I thought] remained
such interesting finds. Since “Dear Life” has recently revealed itself on bookstore shelves all over Canada, I have wanted to read the Memoir/Autobiography more so than further short stories. She also insinuates that poetry is a foreign craft to her; although she has
An excerpt and Interview from/about this book in a recent issue of The New Yorker:
After the David Gilmour blip; [and yes, I say it is a blip] It has passed just as swiftly as it appeared; even though it remains a
serious embarrassment to our Canadian Literati. As most of us writers and all aficionado’s of the Canadian Literary community, I am
relieved Alice has become the “Nobel” of [Canadian] Literature. This has put a damper on Gilmour’s attitude as a Woman, a humble,
economically modest since childhood; she has revealed herself beyond the scope of being a Real Writer!? [What is that?] Well, she is
the best of the kind. She has touched the lives of many, all around the globe. She has inspired the Short Story, taken it to a
post-modernist height that would make Chekov envious yet, utterly proud.
Alice is a triumph of the human spirit; a stupendous example of grace, love, courage and faith in the world. All Hail to Alice Munro!
We needed her desperately and she came.
Thank you Alice.
God Bless You