Alice Ann Munro

Alice Ann Munro

date of birth : 10/07/1931 | date of death :
Born on July 10, 1931, Wingham, Ontario, Canada,Author, In 2005, Munro was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people,” and she has frequently been spoken of as a candidate for the NOBEL PRIZE.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Alice Munro was born on July 10, 1931 in Wingham, Ontario, Canada.

Father's name: Robert Eric Laidlaw
Mother's name: Anne Clarke Chamney
Brother: -
Sister: -
Spouse: Gerald Fremlin (m. 1976–2013), James Munro (m. 1951–1972)
Children: Sheila Munro/ Catherine Munro/ Jenny Munro/ Andrea Munro

Personal Information:

Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight

Life events:

Early life

Munro was born Alice Ann Laidlaw in Wingham, Ontario. Her father was a farmer who, for a time, raised minks, and a mother who suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Munro began writing as a teenager, publishing her first story, "The Dimensions of a Shadow," in 1950. A two-year scholarship to the University of Western Ontario got her off the farm, and by the age of twenty-five she was married with a daughter and had started writing stories, though she has said her early fiction was "often no good." She did not complete a degree. In the 1960s, Munro and her first husband ran a bookstore in Victoria, Canada, where the writer worked part-time, while raising her three daughters and writing short stories. Munro was a housewife for many years before gaining international attention for her first collection of stories, 1968's Dance of the Happy Shades.

Writing career

That success was followed by Lives of Girls and Women (1971), a collection of interlinked stories sometimes erroneously described as a novel. In 1978, Munro's collection of interlinked stories; Who Do You Think You Are? was published (titled The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose in the United States). This book earned Munro a second Governor General's Literary Award. The end of Munro's marriage in 1972 prompted her return to Ontario and eventually to the University of Western Ontario, this time as the writer-in-residence. She married Gerald Fremlin, whom she had known since her university years, in 1976 and the couple settled on a farm outside of Clinton. The couple moved to a farm outside Clinton, Ontario, and later to a house in Clinton, where Fremlin died on 17 April 2013, aged 88. From 1979 to 1982, she toured Australia, China and Scandinavia. She underwent heart surgery in 2001 but the new millennium ushered in some of her boldest and frankest work, in collections such as Runaway and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. After her husband's death in April 2009, she announced that Dear Life would be her final book. In response, American novelist Jane Smiley wrote: "Thank you for your unembarrassed woman's perspective on the lives of girls and women, but also the lives of boys and men. Thank you for your cruelty as well as your kindness, because the one plus the other is the essence of truthfulness."Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2013 and is a three-time winner of the Governor General's Award, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Canada. She is the 13th woman to win the prize.


University: University of Western Ontario (dropped out)

Occupations and Career:

She is an author. She is known for exquisitely drawn short stories, usually set in rural Ontario and peopled by characters of Scotch-Irish stock. Her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. Her output includes: DANCE OF THE HAPPY SHADES (1968), LIVES OF GIRLS AND WOMEN (1971), Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You (1974), Who Do You Think You Are? (1978), The Moons of Jupiter (1982), The Progress of Love (1986), Friend of My Youth (1990), Open Secrets (1994), The Love of a Good Woman (1998), Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001), Runaway (2004), The View from Castle Rock (2006), Too Much Happiness (2009) and Dear Life (2012). Many of Munro's stories are set in Huron County, Ontario. Her strong regional focus is one of the features of her fiction. Another is the omniscient narrator who serves to make sense of the world. Many compare Munro's small-town settings to writers from the rural South of the United States. As in the works of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, her characters often confront deep-rooted customs and traditions, but the reaction of Munro's characters is generally less intense than their Southern counterparts'. Her male characters tend to capture the essence of the everyman, while her female characters are more complex. Much of Munro's work exemplifies the literary genre known as Southern Ontario Gothic.

Awards /Honors:

  • Governor General's Literary Award for English language fiction (1968, 1978, 1986)
  • Canadian Booksellers Award for Lives of Girls and Women (1971)
  • Shortlisted for the annual (UK) Booker Prize for Fiction (now the Man Booker Prize) (1980) for The Beggar Maid
  • Marian Engel Award (1986)
  • Trillium Book Award for Friend of My Youth (1991), The Love of a Good Woman (1999) and Dear Life (2013)
  • WH Smith Literary Award (1995, UK) for Open Secrets
  • Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (1995)
  • PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction (1997)
  • National Book Critics Circle Award (1998, U.S.) For The Love of a Good Woman
  • Giller Prize (1998 and 2004)
  • Rea Award for the Short Story (2001) given to a living American or Canadian author.
  • Libris Award
  • O. Henry Award for continuing achievement in short fiction in the U.S. for "Passion" (2006) and "What Do You Want To Know For" (2008)
  • Man Booker International Prize (2009, UK)
  • Canada-Australia Literary Prize
  • Commonwealth Writers Prize Regional Award for Canada and the Caribbean.
  • Nobel Prize in Literature (2013) as "master of the contemporary short story".
  • 1992: Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • 1993: Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Medal
  • 2005: Medal of Honor for Literature from the U.S. National Arts Club
  • 2010: Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters


Original short-story collections

  • Dance of the Happy Shades – 1968 (winner of the 1968 Governor General's Award for Fiction)
  • Lives of Girls and Women – 1971
  • Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You – 1974
  • Who Do You Think You Are? – 1978 (winner of the 1978 Governor General's Award for Fiction; also published as The Beggar Maid)
  • The Moons of Jupiter – 1982 (nominated for a Governor General's Award)
  • The Progress of Love – 1986 (winner of the 1986 Governor General's Award for Fiction)
  • Friend of My Youth – 1990 (winner of the Trillium Book Award)
  • Open Secrets – 1994 (nominated for a Governor General's Award)
  • The Love of a Good Woman – 1998 (winner of the 1998 Giller Prize)
  • Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage – 2001 (republished as Away From Her)
  • Runaway – 2004 (winner of the 2004 Giller Prize)
  • The View from Castle Rock – 2006
  • Too Much Happiness – 2009
  • Dear Life –2012

Short-story compilations

  • Selected Stories – 1996
  • No Love Lost – 2003
  • Vintage Munro – 2004
  • Alice Munro's Best: A Selection of Stories – Toronto 2006/ Carried Away: A Selection of Stories – New York 2006; both with an introduction by Margaret Atwood
  • New Selected Stories – 2011

Quotes and Memoirs:

Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories - and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.
I can't play bridge. I don't play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn't seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.
The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless. I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple.
That's something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings.
In twenty years I've never had a day when I didn't have to think about someone else's needs. And this means the writing has to be fitted around it.
In my own work, I tend to cover a lot of time and to jump back and forward in time, and sometimes the way I do this isnot very straightforward.
The stories are not autobiographical, but they're personal in that way. I seem to know only the things that I've learned. Probably some things through observation, but what I feel I know surely is personal.
I want the reader to feel something is astonishing. Not the 'what happens,' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do thatbest, for me.
The deep, personal material of the latter half of your life is your children. You can write about your parents when they're gone, but your children are still going to be here, and you're going to want them to come and visit youin the nursing home.