Alice Munro – A Master Of Canadian Short Story

3831 words - 15 pages

Introduction: All of us have read or heard many stories. They may be funny, sad, interesting or the other perceptions of man. The main elements of a short story consist of plot, characterisation, narrative technique, theme, tone, language, setting and atmosphere. The short story in Canada really developed in the late 19th century. Making a slow start in the 1830s, it picked up in the mid-nineteenth century when newspapers and magazines gave a fillip to its publication. A question often asked is what makes a short story specifically Canadian? Margaret Atwood opines, “The definition of ‘Canadian short story’ like that ‘Canadian itself has a hard core with fuzzy edges. Canadian short story writers are eclectic in their approach like story writers elsewhere in the English-speaking world. The contemporary Canadian short story is a mosaic woven out of many strands. It left behind the sentimentality of romance and confronted life and society head on, Canadian short story is, more or less, no different from the short stories written the world over. Some of the important contemporary short story writers are -Margaret Atwood, Margaret Lawrence, Ken Mitchell, Alice Munro etc. So the range and variety in Canadian short story is also limitless.
Alice Munro - Life and Works:
Canadian writer Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday (10-10-2013), is an admitted short story addict who has garnered international praise for her tales of struggles, loves and tragedies of women in small town and rural Canada. She became the second Canadian-born writer to win the prize, although she is the first winner with a distinct Canadian identity. Saul Bellow, who won the award in 1976, was born in Quebec, but raised in Chicago and is widely considered an American Writer. In addition to Canadians, short-story writers (and enthusiasts) might welcome Munro’s win with a delight. In a literary culture that tends to lionize novels over shorter fiction, Munro has been a constant advocate for the power of the short story. In her interview with the CBC, Munro emphasized the significance of her win not for herself, but for the art form, short story.
Alice was born in Wingham, Ontario in 1931 to a family of farmers and now lives in nearby Clinton. Her father was a fox farmer and her mother was a teacher. She was a literary person in a non-literary town, concealing her ambition like a forbidden passion. She started writing in her early teens. When she escaped her childhood and got a scholarship to study at the University of Western Ontario, she studied Journalism. She published her first story; “The Dimensions of a Shadow” in 1950 while a university student. She dropped out of college to marry a fellow student; James Munro in 1951 had three daughters. After two years, they moved to Canada’s Pacific Coast. She was a Sylvia Plath style depression by the time she was at 30. Marriage had fallen apart. She gave divorce to her husband James. She returned...

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