Appreciating Alice Munro, Who Brought Innovation to Short Fiction

In his elegant obituary of Alice Munro, the Nobel laureate who died this week in Port Hope, Ontario, Anthony DePalma writes that her stories “were widely considered to be without equal, a mixture of ordinary people and extraordinary themes.”

Alice Munro was known for exploring time and memory in her stories.Credit…Ian Willms for The New York Times

Mr. DePalma, a former Toronto bureau chief for The Times, continued: “She portrayed small-town folks, often in rural southwestern Ontario, facing situations that made the fantastic seem an everyday occurrence. Some of her characters were fleshed out so completely through generations and across continents that readers reached a level of intimacy with them that usually comes only with a full-length novel.”

[Read: Alice Munro, Nobel Laureate and Master of the Short Story, Dies at 92]

Ms. Munro and her work have long been covered by The Times. The first reference was one line in 1973 noting the publication of “Dance of the Happy Shades,” a collection of stories that had been released in Canada five years earlier.

This week, Opinion published an essay about Ms. Munro by the Toronto-based novelist Sheila Heti, and Books reminded readers of its guide to Ms. Munro’s work that it first published a few months ago.

[Read: I Don’t Write Like Alice Munro, but I Want to Live Like Her]

[Read: The Essential Alice Munro]

As is often the case when important cultural figures die, The Times also offered “an appraisal” of the work.

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