Thursday, October 10, 2013


Shorty story great, Alice Munro, as won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, and it couldn't happen to a better writer. Some commentators have noted that though the prize is often given to a writer because of their politics or the part of the world where politics is causing problems, giving it to this quiet self-effacing Canadian whose stories are about relationships and seemingly avoid any kind of politics is an anomaly.

But I wonder. Maybe the Nobel judges wanted to honor what seems right now like one of the only places on earth that isn't falling over itself to self-destruct. Canada is looking awfully civilized and successfully cooperative compared certainly to its neighbors to the South, and for that matter the East and West.

But whatever reasons may be behind the choice of Munro, I'm happy she was chosen, and though I don't agree with her being compared to Chekhov, except in that they are both brilliant craftspeople at the art of the short story, I do agree that like Chekhov she deserves to be read for generations to come, as long as humans still read.

I also hope it's a sign that the Nobel for Literature will start rewarding the many great women writers of our times. I'd love to see Alice McDermott be next.