Alice Munro's territory is the farms and semi-rural towns of south-western Ontario. Described by one of her peers as going around with a 'delicate, rueful smile and a wicked pen', she says of herself: 'I guess that maybe as a writer I'm kind of an anachronism... because I write about places where your roots are and most people don't live that kind of life anymore at all. Most writers, probably, the writers who are most in tune with our time, write about places that have no texture because this is where most of us live.'
In these powerful tales she brings the landscape of her childhood back to life as she deals with the self-discovery and guilt of those caught in a narrow existence. And in sensitively exploring the lives of ordinary men and women, she makes us aware of the universal nature of their fears, sorrows and aspirations.
Dance of the Happy Shades won Canada's highest literary prize upon publication in 1968, kick-starting a decades long career that culminated with Alice Munro being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013 as a "master of the contemporary short story."
"The finest writer of short stories working in the English language today." - The Times
"The greatest living short story writer." - A. S. Byatt, Sunday Times
"A remarkable writer whose major characters emerge in shining clarity... A major talent is at work here." - Los Angeles Times
"Munro's power of analysis, of sensations and thoughts is almost Proustian in its sureness." - New Statesman
"Read not more than one of her stories a day, and allow them to work their spell: they are made to last." - Observer
“Her work felt revolutionary when I came to it, and it still does.” - Jhumpa Lahiri
“She is one of the handful of writers, some living, most dead, whom I have in mind when I say that fiction is my religion.” - Jonathan Franzen
“The authority she brings to the page is just lovely.” - Elizabeth Strout
“She’s the most savage writer I’ve ever read, also the most tender, the most honest, the most perceptive.” - Jeffery Eugenides
“Alice Munro can move characters through time in a way that no other writer can.” - Julian Barnes
“She is a short-story writer who…reimagined what a story can do.” - Lorrie Moore
“There’s probably no one alive who’s better at the craft of the short story.” - Jim Shepard
“A true master of the form.” - Salman Rushdie
“A wonderful writer.” - Joyce Carol Oates