Feature

Author of the week: Alice Munro

The short-story master is ending her career on a high note.

Alice Munro is ending her career on a high note, said Mark Medley in the Toronto National Post. On a night last month when her most recent story collection was awarded one of Canada’s top literary prizes, the 82-year-old Ontario native announced that she intended to write no more. “It’s nice to go out with a bang,” said the short-story master, seeming very much at ease with her decision to end more than four decades of steady production. “I’m delighted. Not that I didn’t love writing, but I think you do get to a stage where you sort of think about your life in a different way. Perhaps, when you’re my age, you don’t wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be.”

Another recent literary retirement helped her make the choice, said Charles McGrath in The New York Times. Novelist Philip Roth, a near contemporary, suffered no apparent regrets after recently announcing his own departure from the trade. “I put great faith in Philip Roth,” Munro says. “He seems so happy now.” Munro, whose second husband died in April, says she’s been cherishing the chance to be more social than she’s been for most of the past few decades. “There is a nice feeling about being just like everyone else now,” she says. “I can have people around a lot more, because I’m not always chasing them away so I can work.” Aware that many readers will be disappointed that there’ll be no new Alice Munro stories, she offers this advice: “Go read the old ones over again. There’s lots of them.”

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