Alice Munro - Writing Her Life
In the article about biographies ("Life on Record - Biographies" at ndla.no/en/node/95700) we stated that getting an insight into a writer's life may give us a broader appreciation of the work of the author. What influenced the author either on a personal or a social level during life will most likely be reflected in the work produced.
The Canadian writer, Alice Munro, is recognized as a "master of the modern short story". In 2013, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her stories are reputed to draw heavily upon her own personal experiences. In this project work we will study how her life has been a source of inspiration in her work.
Alice Munro - Online resources:
The Mother - Daughter Relationship
In the last part of the interview she focuses on the mother and daughter relationship.
Ponder these Questions:
- Compare her biographical essay to her statements about her relationship to her mother in the interview.
- Which issues in their relationship are highlighted?
- To which extent do you think the essay elaborates on her personal feelings towards her mother?
Write an Essay
Read the dramatization of the short story Red Dress
In Rex Murphy's interview with Alice Munroe, he describes how her stories appear to be analyses of the "the keenest of relationships" - the one between a mother and her daughter.
On the basis of what you have studied about Alice Munro, her life and fiction, write an essay where you discuss how you think the relationship to her own mother is reflected in her work.
The Local Village
To The New York Times, Alice Munro declared that her Canadian hometown, Wingham in Huron County, was "the most interesting place in the world". Robert Thacker, her biographer, describes how Munro excels in transforming the ordinary place and its inhabitants into art.
Ponder these Questions:
- How does Munro explain why the small village and its residents play such a big part in her stories?
- Even if the people in Wingham acknowledge Alice Munro and her work, some feel exposed and humiliated. Why do you think?
- The article "Where She Found Her Stories" states that Alice Munro has had to live with the duality of pleasing and provoking people for decades. It refers to one family that still holds a grudge against her for revealing a tragedy going back to the 1930s. How does this illustrate the dilemma of the biographical author?
Make a Collage
Read one of Munro's short stories. You will find a selection of her short stories , e.g. "Free Radicals" or "Amundsen". From the short story, the interview and the article, make a collage. (Choose pictures from Google, Flickr, Deviantart or similar sources.) Call it "Alice Munro and Her Universe". Try to portray the small Canadian village and some of the "locals" that Alice Munro brings to life.
Nodes which use this node
- ENGLISH – PROGRAMME SUBJECT IN PROGRAMMES FOR SPECIALIZATION IN GENERAL STUDIES