November 29, 2013 |
2013 was a very good year for writers with many years behind them. When she was 81 years old, author Alice Munro published her 16th short story collection, "Dear Life," and told Canadian news outlets that she was done with writing. At 82, after she won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, Munro admitted she might not be ready to quit after all. "I have promised to retire but now and then I get an idea," she told the Wall Street Journal. Writing is an art that, with persistent ideas and enduring talent, can be carried on for a lifetime.
October 31, 2013 |
Thirty boxes of stuff -- the kind of thing a frustrated spouse might suggest be cleared out of the garage -- is being donated to the L.A. Public Library, which has accepted the lot with much enthusiasm. The boxes belong to Dr. Melvin Schrier, a retired optometrist who now lives in Palos Verdes. Schrier was born in Brooklyn and practiced on Park Avenue in Manhattan; when he started going out on the town, he began saving souvenirs. That was back in 1944, and he kept at it for the next sixty-some years, noting the date on each item.
October 30, 2013 |
The Canadian writer Alice Munro just wasn't new and exciting enough. Not in the eyes of the editors at Alfred A. Knopf who rejected her work in the 1960s and '70s. “There's no question that the lady can write but it's also clear she is primarily a short story writer, ” wrote Knopf editor Judith Jones in 1971. Earlier this month, Munro won the Nobel Prize in literature . This week, the Harry Ransom Center, a library and archive at the University of Texas at Austin, showed Munro's rejections letters to a reporter at the Daily Texan.
October 23, 2013 |
Before winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Canadian short story master Alice Munro announced her retirement in an interview with Mark Medley of Canada's National Post. “When you're my age,” Munro said in June , “you don't wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be. It's like, at the wrong end of life, sort of becoming very sociable. A season, and a Nobel prize win , later, Munro may have changed her mind. “Every day I have mixed messages to myself over whether I will retire,” Munro told the Wall Street Journal, in one of her first interviews since her big win . “I have promised to retire but now and then I get an idea.” Munro's ideas famously arrive to her via her experiences in small-town southern Ontario, most notably her hometown Wingham, which is home to only 3,000 people but has enough stories for the whole world to take notice.
October 21, 2013 |
Alice Munro may not, as Carolyn Kellogg reported Sunday , be going to Stockholm in December to pick up her Nobel Prize in literature (“Her health is simply not good enough,” Swedish Academy permanent secretary Peter Englund explained. “All involved, including Mrs. Munro herself, regret this”). But she remains available in other ways. In the wake of the Nobel announcement, the New Yorker, where she has published many stories over the past three and a half decades, allowed free access to a dozen of her pieces on its website; this week, the magazine reprints her story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” which first appeared in December 1999.
October 10, 2013 |
Alice Munro was my teacher. No, I've never actually met the Canadian writer, who was enshrined Thursday as a Nobel laureate for literature. I mean she was my "teacher" in that way we writers think about the great authors whose published works instruct us in what the art can be. Like many other writers, I turned to Munro for help with a certain essential element of the craft of literary fiction. She taught me to see the glories of the everyday, the epic inside the ordinary. An Alice Munro story is the antithesis of melodrama.