Local writers thrilled for Alice Munro
Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize win was applauded on Thursday by excited Central Alberta writers, who see it as a boost for all Canadian literature.
“I’m absolutely thrilled she won this honour — it’s an honour for all Canadians,” said Lacombe author Fran Kimmel, who believes Munro’s short stories resonate strongly with readers all over the world because her portraits of regular, and often rural, people are packed with universal meaning.
“She gives so much nuance to ordinary events,” said Kimmel, whose debut novel, The Shore Girl, was recently selected as a choice for CBC’s Canada Reads series.
Munro, author of The Love of a Good Woman, Runaway, Dance of the Happy Shades, Progress of Love and Who Do You Think You Are?, and other works, is popular because “she speaks the language we speak,” said Peggy Freeman of Red Deer, who writes short stories and reviews books for the Advocate.
Freeman believes the much-rewarded Munro, who previously won the Man Booker International Prize, two Scotiabank Giller Prizes, and three Governor General Literary Awards, deserves this greatest of international accolades, the Nobel Prize, because she creates recognizable portraits of regular people whose ordinary lives are infused with deeper meaning.
“She’s worth it,” said Freeman.
Munro is only the second Canadian writer to win the Nobel Prize. Canadian-born, American-raised Saul Bellows won in 1976.
Red Deer author and poet Kimmy Beach believes the international profile of the prize will draw more global attention to Canadian literature in general. She noted Munro’s win “is plastered all over Facebook,” so should raise awareness of Canada’s literary scene in countries where “Canadian writers can still seem like a novelty.”
Munro is a favourite author among writers as well as readers, added Beach.
“We all look up to her, no matter what we write,” she said, singling out her ability “to turn the ordinary into the profound.”
Red Deer story writer and poet Leslie Greentree believes Munro’s win should increase the popularity of short stories, which have been considered less salable than novels.
“It could lead to a resurgence . . . reinforcing (the short story form) as a valuable and unique literary art,” said Greentree, who has authored several collections.
“I’m a fan, so I’m incredibly delighted” about the win, added Greentree, who considers Munro “an incredible boon to literature around the world, not just in Canada. She’s somebody Canadians can be very, very proud of.”