Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Alice Munro's gone and back again

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Alice Munro is to retirement what David Bowie is to, well, retirement. Munro hinted and teased and suggested that her previous collection, The View From Castle Rock, was her final bow.

And yet, a new collection is apparently coming in 2009, and a new story appears in the latest issue of The New Yorker. Munro’s “Going I Must Be, Hello”* routine got noticed by Papercuts, The New York Times’ book blog.

By sheer coincidence, I just read Munro’s interview in the The Paris Review Interviews, II, in which she – way back in 1994 – talked about the possibility of giving it all up:

“It’s not the giving up of the writing that I fear. It’s the giving up of this excitement or whatever it is that you feel that makes you write. This is what I wonder: what do most people do once the necessity of working all the time is removed? […] The only thing I’ve ever had to fill my life has been writing.”

She also admits that “these days I’m a little panicked at the idea of stopping – as if, if I stopped, I could be stopped for good.”

Munro also has a good line about reviews of her books: “Even though it doesn’t matter to you, you would rather be clapped than booed off the stage.”

* inverted Groucho Marx reference.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Nathan Whitlock

Nathan Whitlock is the review editor of Quill & Quire magazine. His writing and reviews have appeared in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, Toro, Geist, Saturday Night and elsewhere. His novel, A Week of This: a novel in seven days, was published this spring by ECW Press.

Go to Nathan Whitlock’s Author Page