Alice Munro

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People are curious. A few people are. They will be driven to find things out, even trivial things.

Alice Ann Munro (born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian author, primarily of short stories. The recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, she is also the 2009 Man Booker International Prize winner for her lifetime body of work, and a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction.


  • People are curious. A few people are. They will be driven to find things out, even trivial things. They will put things together, knowing all along that they may be mistaken. You see them going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading microfilm, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.
    And they may get it wrong, after all. I may have got it wrong.
  • You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations.
  • A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
  • This is what happens. You put it away for a little while, and now and again you look in the closet for something else and you remember, and you think, soon. Then it becomes something that is just there, in the closet, and other things get crowded in front of it and on top of it and finally you don't think about it at all.
    The thing that was your bright treasure. You don't think about it. A loss you could not contemplate at one time, and now it becomes something you can barely remember.
    This is what happens.
    Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it. You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.
  • Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind... When a woman goes out she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.
  • In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, where something happened, and then there are all the other places.
    • "Too Much Happiness", in Too Much Happiness (2009)
  • She was learning, quite late, what many people around her appeared to have known since childhood: that life can be perfectly satisfying without major achievements.
    • "Too Much Happiness", in Too Much Happiness (2009)
  • 'The thing is to be happy,' he said. 'No matter what. Just try that. You can. It gets to be easier and easier. It's nothing to do with circumstances. You wouldn't believe how good it is. Accept everything and then tragedy disappears. Or tragedy lightens, anyway, and you're just there, going along easy in the world.'
  • Because if she let go of her grief even for a minute it would only hit her harder when she bumped into it again.
    • Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 (2014)

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