“Why is intense, close connection so challenging to convey in fiction?”: Christina Ward-Niven looks to Alice Munro and Stacey D’Erasmo to unpack narrative intimacy. Look out for part II of this essay on Thursday.
In the illuminating introduction to her Selected Stories, Alice Munro considers the recurring setting of her fiction: “The reason I write so often about the country to the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it.” She goes on to describe how memories of particular images from that geography will motivate her stories in their earliest, most daydreamy forms. For instance, Munro describes the image of “snow falling straight down” that served as the seed of a story. In its finished form, there’s no reference to that image, no trace for the reader to dwell on, but all […]
Andrea Walker shares choice tidbits from Munro’s session at the New Yorker Festival earlier this month: ‘Things you may not know about Alice Munro’: She sees her stories visually before they become words. She often starts with an image of some incident and the people involved—a sense of some action, or some effect that the characters have created on each other. She doesn’t know at that stage exactly what’s happened to them or what they’re saying to each other, only that these people somehow belong in the story together. Now brace yourself: “Housewife Finds Time to Write Short Stories” was […]
I teach in Connecticut on Wednesdays, so it’s the perfect excuse to shirk blogging duties and link to two of the best stories I’ve read this year: 1. “Nine” by Aryn Kyle, from the Atlantic‘s 2008 Fiction Issue. If it strikes your fancy, read Kyle’s debut novel, The God of Animals, now available in paperback and reviewed here on FWR. 2. “Face” by Alice Munro, from the September 8 New Yorker. What a fresh story! Who can “make it new” after more than a dozen collections? Alice Munro, that’s who.
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