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Alice Munro, Canadian author who mastered the short story, dead at 92

Alice Munro, Canadian author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died at the age of 92.

Munro won Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013

A woman with white hair wearing a black cardigan smiles for a photo in front of a bookcase in her home.

Alice Munro, a Canadian author who was revered worldwide as master of the short story and who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died at the age of 92.

Her publisher said Munro died at her home in Port Hope, Ont., on Monday evening.

"Alice Munro is a national treasure — a writer of enormous depth, empathy, and humanity whose work is read, admired, and cherished by readers throughout Canada and around the world," read a statement from Kristin Cochrane, CEO of McClelland & Stewart, which is owned by Penguin Random House Canada.

"Alice's writing inspired countless writers too, and her work leaves an indelible mark on our literary landscape."

Munro was born Alice Laidlaw in Wingham, Ont., on July 10, 1931. The eldest child of Robert and Anne Laidlaw, she was raised on what she described as a "collapsing enterprise of a fox and mink farm." She began writing short stories when she was a teenager and her first published story, The Dimensions of a Shadow, appeared in the University of Western Ontario's undergraduate creative writing magazine, Folio, in the spring of 1950.

She later devoted her career to the notoriously challenging short story medium because, as a married mother of three, she didn't believe she had the time to complete novels. She stole moments to think about her stories as her babies napped.

WATCH | Munro on the craft of writing fiction:

Alice Munro on the craft of writing

34 years ago

Duration 4:14

Alice Munro talks to Midday host Tina Srebotnjak about the craft of writing fiction.

She wrote 14 acclaimed collections, seamlessly blending ordinary people with extraordinary themes — womanhood, sex, restlessness, aging — to develop complex characters with the nuance and depth most writers can only find in the wider confines of a novel.

Munro won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy hailed Munro, then 82, as "master of the contemporary short story."

In an interview with CBC after her win, Munro said: "I think my stories have gotten around quite remarkably for short stories, and I would really hope that this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something that you played around with until you'd got a novel written."

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Munro won a litany of literary awards and prizes, including three Governor General's Literary Awards, two Giller Prizes and the Man Booker International Prize.

Her rich portrayals of the human condition led to a decades-long publishing relationship with the New Yorker magazine, cementing the Canadian author's status with an elite group of contributors who defined the American magazine's celebrated love affair with short fiction.

An unapologetic revisionist, Munro was known to keep reworking stories even after her publisher had sent them back without asking for any changes. In one instance, she paid financial penalties herself to add an entirely new story and change the voice from first to third person in Who Do You Think You Are? — a collection of short stories that went on to win Munro her second Governor General's Award in 1978.

Munro opened Munro's Books with her first husband, James Munro, in Victoria in 1963. She credits the bookstore, which made $175 on its first day and still operates today, as helping her overcome the writer's block she experienced from her mid-20s to her mid-30s: "The writing ceased to be this all-important thing that I had to prove myself with. The pressure came off."

The Munros had three daughters — Sheila, Catherine and Jenny — before divorcing in 1972. Munro moved back to Ontario and later married her second husband, Gerald Fremlin, who she had first met in university.

Fremlin, a retired geographer and editor of The National Atlas of Canada, was the one to use the office in the couple's Clinton, Ont. home. Munro opted to write at a tiny desk facing a window overlooking the driveway from the corner of their dining room, according to a 2013 profile.

More to come.

*****
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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