I'm not sure how one gets out of harness. The urge to write, and the need to fulfil that urge, seem inborn to me. Outside of a personal choice. But then, in a world where the Pope can retire, perhaps self-awareness can take on a broader scope than usual. However, the Pope was replaced. Alice Munro is irreplaceable. [DE]
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Alice Munro: “It’s nice to go out with a bang”
by Mark Medley
On Tuesday evening, a few minutes after Alice Munro won the Trillium Book Award for Dear Life, an editor remarked to me how she’d never seen writers so happy just to be nominated. It was true. No one, it seemed, could fault the jury for awarding Ontario’s top literary prize to Munro. In their citation, the jury wrote her stories “dig down into the very core of an individual life … seamlessly revealing what makes all our lives both wondrous and wicked. These stories, among the best Munro has ever written, lead to a stirring autobiographical finale she calls, ‘The first and last and the closest things I have to say about my own life.’ There’s a reason Munro is called one of the best things to happen to Canadian writing, and to see why open up Dear Life and hold on.”
Afterwards, I sat down with Munro for a short interview, in which she discussed, among other things, her decision to retire from writing.
National Post: Congratulations, first of all.
Alice Munro: Thank you!
Post: It’s been 23 years since you won for Friend of My Youth.
Munro: It’s been that long? Gosh, it feels like just a few years ago, really, to me.
Post: What, at this stage of your career, does an award like this mean to you?
Munro: It feels wonderful. It always feels wonderful to win an award. It doesn’t matter how old you are.