All stories relating to Alice Munro
Yesterday, while Alice Munro was being presented with the Nobel Prize for Literature, Western University in London, Ontario, announced it will honour the author with a new chair for its faculty of arts and humanities.
According to a press release, the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity will enable Western, which has committed $1.5 million to match donations, to “recruit a creative writer, teacher, and scholar who will advance the university’s tradition of excellence in developing the talents of students and future writers.” The appointed chair will serve as a “mentor and a model to faculty, staff, and students,” and “attract international authors as speakers and future writers-in-residence.”
From 1949 to 1951 while attending Western, Munro published three stories in its undergraduate English magazine, Folio. In 1976, she received an honorary degree from the university.
There were plenty of cheers on Oct. 10 when Alice Munro became the first Canadian resident (and the 13th woman) to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. But did the excitement translate to actual book sales?
BookNet Canada wanted to determine if there was a Nobel effect on book buying. The non-profit agency partnered with Nielsen Book to analyze sales in 10 countries, including Spain, India, South Africa, and Australia. The report covers an eight-week period, from the week ending Sept. 21 through to Nov. 10, and includes all of Munro’s available in-print titles (hardcover and paperback only) in both English and in translation.
Here are some of the report highlights:
- There was a Canadian sales increase of 4,424 per cent between the weeks of Sept. 21 and Oct. 19
- The week of the win had the highest increase, from 94 units to 6,345 units (translates to a rise of 6,650 per cent) nationwide
- Out of all the countries surveyed, the U.S. saw the biggest spike, increasing from around 3,000 units to more than 32,600 units the week ending Nov. 2
- In comparison with the Nobel and other honours, Canada Reads still comes out on top with a 4,465 per cent sales increase from the time when the shortlist is revealed to when the winner is announced
BookNet Canada concludes the report by stating it would like to send Munro “a virtual high five and a bear hug.”
Nobel Prize for Literature winner Alice Munro will not attend the award ceremony in Stockholm on Dec.10.
On his personal blog, Swedish Academy secretary Peter Englund writes, “Her health is simply not good enough. All involved, including Mrs. Munro herself, regret this.”
Englund told the Associated Press it is not yet confirmed who will accept the award on Munro’s behalf.
Munro is the first Canadian to win the Nobel Prize in the literary award’s 113-year history.
Click on the links to read archived reviews of Alice Munro’s latest titles:
Dear Life, 2012
Too Much Happiness, 2009
Runaway, October, 2004
The Love of a Good Woman, 1998
Selected Stories, October 1996
Biographies and essays
Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives by Robert Thacker, 2005
Alice Munro has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first Canadian (and only the 13th woman) to win one of the world’s top literary accolades in the prize’s 113-year history.
In a statement provided by Munro’s publisher Penguin Random House Canada, she is quoted as saying: “I am amazed, and very grateful…. I’m particularly glad that winning this award will please so many Canadians. I’m happy, too, that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing.”
A subsequent statement from Munro, also provided by her publisher, reads in full:
This is so surprising and wonderful. I am dazed by all the attention and affection that has been coming my way this morning. It is such an honour to receive this wonderful recognition from the Nobel Committee and I send them my thanks.
When I began writing there was a very small community of Canadian writers and little attention was paid by the world. Now Canadian writers are read, admired and respected around the globe. I’m so thrilled to be chosen as this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature recipient. I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers. I also hope that this brings further recognition to the short story form.
Munro is the author most recently of the short-story collection Dear Life (McClelland & Stewart), which she had previously declared would be her last book. Born in Wingham, Ontario, she continues to live for part of the year in Southern Ontario, where many of her stories are set.
In a phone interview with the Nobel committee, Munro indicated that, in fact, there may be more stories to come. “I’ve been writing and publishing since I was about 20,” she said. “That’s a long time to be working, and I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time to take it easy.’ But this may change my mind.”
Munro has long been considered in the running for the Nobel. In her distinguished career she has also received the Man Booker International Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize (twice), and the Governor General’s Literary Award (three times).
Munro is published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Her work is published in paperback by Penguin Canada, which released a paperback edition of Dear Life this week.
In a brief statement, the Swedish Academy in charge of the Nobel noted simply that Munro is a “master of the contemporary short story.” A tweet from the academy claims that they informed Munro of her win via phone message.
The prize is estimated to be worth roughly $1.3 million.
The International Festival of Authors announced today that this year’s recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize, worth $10,000, is Alice Munro. The perennial Nobel Prize contender will be honoured with the prize for her contributions to Canada’s literary community and the next generation of talent.
The prize will be awarded Nov. 2, the closing night of the festival, at a special tribute to Munro, who announced her retirement from writing in June. The evening will be hosted by Douglas Gibson, Munro’s publisher of nearly 40 years, and attended by the author’s colleagues, family, and other members of the literary community who will present readings from her work.
Munro was selected for the prize by a jury consisting of Q&Q publisher Alison Jones, Toronto Star books and visual arts editor Dianne Rinehart, and IFOA director Geoffrey E. Taylor.
As the spring season winds down, here are just a few highlights from the past month’s many award ceremonies, receptions, parties, and launches.
Click on the thumbnails to browse the slideshow.
Yesterday at the Toronto Congress Centre, Terry Fallis was awarded the Libris Author award, beating out Will Ferguson, Alice Munro, and Nancy Richler.
Ferguson had his own victory when he took home the fiction prize for his novel 419 (Penguin Canada), and Munro was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
The CBA Libris Awards are voted on by independent booksellers, recognizing literary achievement and contributions from members of the book industry.
The winners are:
419, Will Ferguson (Penguin Canada)
The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King (Doubleday Canada)
BookLore Stores (Orangeville, ON)
Mabel’s Fables (Toronto, ON)
University of Toronto Bookstore (Toronto, ON)
Such Wicked Intent, Kenneth Oppel (HarperCollins Canada)
Iris Tupholme, HarperCollins Canada
Morgen Young, Ampersand
This Is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)
Random House of Canada
CBA’s Libris Lifetime Achievement Award
Alice Munro and Jack Rabinovitch
Young Bookseller of the Year
Michael Bumstead, Whodunit? Mystery Bookstore (Winnipeg, MB)
The Trillium Book Award shortlists have been released for English- and French-language books, English-language poetry and French-language children’s literature.
- Tamara Faith Berger, Maidenhead (Coach House Books)
- Steven Heighton, The Dead Are More Visible (Knopf Canada)
- Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian (Doubleday Canada)
- Alice Munro, Dear Life (McClelland & Stewart)
- Emily Schultz, The Blondes (Doubleday Canada)
- Linda Spalding, The Purchase (M&S)
Poetry in English:
- Mathew Henderson, The Lease (Coach House)
- Sandy Pool, Undark: An Oratorio (Nightwood Editions)
- Matthew Tierney, Probably Inevitable (Coach House)
- Claude Guilmain, Comment on dit ça, « t’es mort », en anglais? (Les Éditions L’Interligne)
- Christel Larosière (pseudonym of Daniel Soha), Le manuscri (Éditions du Gref)
- Marie-Josée Martin, Un jour, ils entendront mes silences (Éditions David)
- Michèle Matteau, Avant que ne tombe la nuit (Les Éditions L’Interligne)
- Paul Savoie, Bleu bémol (Éditions David)
Children’s literature in French:
- Claude Forand, Un moine trop bavard (Éditions David)
- Michèle Laframboise, Mica, fille de Transyl (Éditions Vents d’Ouest)
- Daniel Marchildon, Les guerriers de l’eau (Les Éditions du Vermillon)
Sustainable paper advocate Canopy has two new high-profile faces to add to its conservation initiative. Yann Martel and Alice Munro have partnered with the Vancouver-based not-for-profit to release special, signed editions of Life of Pi (Knopf Canada) and Dear Life (McClelland & Stewart) on “treeless” paper.
The collectors’ editions will be printed on the company’s straw-based paper, created from a blend of wheat straw, flax straw, and recycled paper. Dubbed Second Harvest Paper, it is made from straw left over after the grain harvest, and its production uses fewer chemicals and less energy and water than traditional paper.
The Martel and Munro reprints are part of a campaign to create an alternative to logging forests for paper. But they aren’t the first novelists to draw attention to the initiative. In October 2011, Margaret Atwood partnered with Canopy to print a special limited edition of In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (M&S), which became the first book in North America to be printed on straw paper.
The success of the collection prompted Winnipeg-based Prairie Pulp & Press to produce a similar paper for consumer use. Manufactured in India and made from 80 per cent straw and 20 per cent Forest Stewardship Council–certified wood fibre, Step Forward Paper became available in Staples stores in August.
Martel and Munro’s books are available exclusively via Canopy’s online store. Life of Pi was released today, while Dear Life (which can be pre-ordered) will be available by mid-April.