By Emily Szitas
Author Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year, but she has been on Carlow’s radar for some time already.
Dr. Ellie Wymard, who is an English professor and the Chair of the Master of Fine Arts program, has been paying attention to Munro’s work for some time.
“Munto is probably the greatest living short story writer that we have in the world,” Wymard said.
She explained that Munro’s main characters are women who live in the 20th or 21st century in rural Canada, which is Munro’s home, but they deal with universal themes. Lives of ordinary women are examined: what are the depths of their disappointments, hopes and dreams? Quiet reflections by the characters are extremely meaningful. The stories focus on their development and personal growth not on the action in the narrative.
“She has such an incredible way of capturing the individual and the spirit of each individual,” Wymard said. “Her work is never repetitive or boring.”
Wymard said that she was surprised to hear that Munro got the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. “I thought she deserved one! It surprised me that a short story writer would win it. Usually winners have epic sweep to their stories. It was unexpected!”
Right now Grace Library has a display of some of Munro’s books on the New Books stand at the library entrance, including Carried Away and The View from Castle Rock. They are available to check out.