After a long and fruitful career as one of the most prolific and talented short story writers of our time, Alice Munro can now add Nobel Prize winner to her long list of achievements, making her the first Canadian and 13th woman to win. A pioneer of the Southern Ontario Gothic genre, which was later explored by the early works of Margaret Atwood, Munro is considered one of the preeminent masters of the short story. If you’re not familiar with her work, stop what you’re doing and read her short story “Gravel” right now. Once you’ve collected yourself, hustle to your bookseller of choice with our starter list of Munro’s best works, after the jump.
Alice Munro has written a lot of books, and they are all short stories that are both easy and hard to digest. She’s a beautiful wordsmith, a master of her craft and a dedicated chronicler of the tangled relationships between men and women. If you want to get into her work, try the following:
The Progress Of Love: One of her earlier works, classic Munro. The titular story is a heartbreaker.
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Pick this up, and flip right to “The Bear Came Down The Mountain.” It’s amazing.
Dear Life: Munro generally sticks to the small towns and rural areas that she’s familiar with, but in this collection, her characters venture to the city. This is her last collection before her announced retirement, so pick it up and be wowed at her ability to still write a sharp, evocative sentence consistently. You will be moved.