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Alice Munro Research Paper

Alice Munro, nee Alice Ann Laidlaw, was born on July 10, 1931 in Ontario, Canada. Born to a fox farmer father, Robert Eric Laidlaw, and a former schoolteacher mother, Anne Clarke Chamney Laidlaw. She left her family’s farm to study at the University of Western Ontario, where she majored in journalism and English. However, she left the university without finishing her degree to marry her first husband, James Munro. As newlyweds, the couple moved from Ontario to Vancouver. There, in Victoria, they established a bookstore. While managing the bookstore, Munro began to write and publish these works in some magazines.

Her first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades, was published in 1968. It became a big hit in Canada, it earned her a Governor General’s award for fiction. In 1971, she published Lives of Girls and Women. (Biography. com Editors) It became another big hit, and her work began to gain lots of recognition. Also in the 70s, Munro and her husband split, and she moved back to Ontario. She continued to publish collections of short stories up until her collection Dear Life which was published in 2012. She announced her retirement from writing in 2013.

In October of that same year, Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Nobel foundation awarded her the prize as they considered her to be a master of the short story genre. Overall, Munro’s works were centered around her life and experiences growing up and living in Ontario, the lives of others that she oversaw, and imagined lives of imaginary people. Munro’s work often focuses on life and what it takes to be live. (Thacker) Entry 14 – Nobel Prize Winner Alice Munro stands out as an immensely talented writer who has changed the genre of short stories forever.

Her career has spanned over 35 years, and yet readers still love her collections. Her ability to be recognized with such an important prize with only short stories shows that short stories are not simply stepping stones to novels; they are literary works all by themselves. Her works remain in circulation today, as her short stories cover topics still relevant, like the relationships between men and women, discontentment with life, and growing up. Her career is still far from over, even if she has truly retired from writing. Her works can be applied to almost everyone’s life and they shed a deeper meaning on what it means to be human.

Alice Munro’s career is truly storied, and her stories have garnered newfound respect for the genre of short stories. Entry 15 – Why the Short Story? Though many famous authors today deal in works of novels, Alice Munro sticks out from the group as she only writes short stories. In the article, Munro details why she publishes short stories and not novels. One such reason is convenience, that a novel would simply require too much time, and that life can get in the way of writing such a lengthy work, whereas short stories can be written and finished as soon the inspiration strikes.

Her writing would no doubt make an excellent novel, but her use of short stories seems to be the most effective way to write about the lives of her characters. The short stories help push Munro to fully develop each narrative in a small amount of words, this might be part of the reason why her stories seem so full of life and love and death- she has to pack it all into a condensed novel. Each of Munro’s stories each seem intricate and highly planned, however she revealed in the article that she hardly plans out each one before writing.

She claims to ignore the typical rules of the genre, like large time gaps and location changes, because she writes only about what interests her. Murno’s writing style seems to flourish under the conventions of the short story genre. All in all, Alice Munro and her collections of short stories standout from the conventional popular literary novels, and they are worthy of their high amounts of praise because Munro is such a praiseworthy author who redefined the modern short story. Entry 16 – Pastiche Paragraph taken from Open Secrets: She had a picture taken. She knew how she wanted it to be.

She would have liked to wear a simple white blouse, a peasant girl’s smock with the string open at the neck. She did not own a blouse of that description and in fact had only seen them in pictures. And she would have liked to let her hair down. Or if it had to be up, she would have liked it piled very loosely and bound with strings of pearls. Instead she wore her blue silk shirt-waist and bound her hair as usual. She thought the picture made her look rather pale, hollow-eyed. Her expression was sterner and more foreboding than she had intended. She sent it anyway. She had a selfie shot.

She was aware of how she had imagined it would look. She would have wanted to be wearing a trendy black shirt, a unadorned women’s top with the neckline loose at the collarbones. She had not found such a shirt and in fact had only seen one like it in an Instagram. And she might have prefered to have her curls straightened and long. Or if it was to be tied up, she would have probably gathered it very gently and tied it with a scrunchie. Instead she dressed in her plain white blouse and let her hair normally. She thought the photo made her appear somewhat muted, and boring.

Her expression was unhappy and less striking than she had imagined. She tweeted it out regardless. These two passages differ based on the adjectives used which change the contextual time of each passage. The original passage could have been from any time since cameras were invented, however some of the dated style choices like the hairstyles and blouses dates the passage to sometime in the 1900s. The second passage is much more modern as it uses language from 21st century inventions, like social media. Both passages describe a girl unhappy with her appearance in a photo, even though they reference different eras.

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