Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives

Publisher: Emblem Editions
This is the book about one of the world’s great authors, Alice Munro, which shows how her life and her stories intertwine.

For almost thirty years Robert Thacker has been researching this book, steeping himself in Alice Munro’s life and work, working with her co-operation to make it complete. The result is a feast of information for Alice Munro’s admirers everywhere.

By following “the parallel tracks” of Alice Munro’s life and Alice Munro’s texts, he gives a thorough and revealing account of both her life and work. “There is always a starting point in reality,” she once said of her stories, and this book reveals just how often her stories spring from her life.

The book is chronological, starting with her pioneer ancestors, but with special attention paid to her parents and to her early days growing up poor in Wingham. Then all of her life stages — the marriage to Jim Munro, the move to Vancouver, then to Victoria to start the bookstore, the three daughters, the divorce, the return to Huron County, and the new life with Gerry Fremlin — leading to the triumphs as, story by story, book by book, she gains fame around the world, until rumours of a Nobel Prize circulate . . .

From the Hardcover edition.


Recalling her university years, Munro says that she loved her time there, “being in that atmosphere, having all those books, not having to do any housework. Those are the only two years of my life without housework.” Not that she has greatly minded such work, either before university or after, but those two...
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How the world sees Alice Munro (and Runaway):
“Alice Munro has a strong claim to being the best fiction writer now working in North America.”
—Jonathan Franzen, The New York Times Book Review

“Cynthia Ozick has said of Munro, that she is our Chekhov. But . . . she is our Flaubert, too. We couldn’t ask for more.”
—Claire Messud, Globe and Mail

“Alice Munro has devoted her career to the short story, and when reading her work it is difficult to remember why the novel was ever invented.”
The Times (U.K.)

From the Hardcover edition.