Book for January 2018
Jonathan Franzen about Munro (2004): "More than any writer since Chekhov, Munro strives for and achieves, in each of her stories, a gestalt-like completeness in the representation of life. She always had a genius for developing and unpacking moments of epiphany. But it's in the three collections since Selected Stories (1996) that she's taken the really big, world-class leap and became a master of suspense. The moments she's pursuing now aren't moments of realization; they're moments of fateful, irrevocable, dramatic action. And what this means for the reader is you can't even begin to guess at a story's meaning until you've followed every twist; it's always the last page or two that switches all the lights on. ... Reading Munro puts me in that state of quiet reflection in which I think about myown life: about the decisions I've made, the things I've done and haven't done, the kind of person I am, the prospect of death."
Alice Munro was born in Canada in 1931. She grew up in Wingham, Ontario, the kind of small town that often provides the backdrop for her writing. She has dedicated her career to the short story genre. According to the Nobel Prize website Munro's short stories accommodate the entire epic complexity of the novel in just a few pages. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013.