Canadian author Alice Munro has died at the age of 92

Munro, a 2013 Nobel Prize winner for literature,  wrote short stories for more than 60 years, often focusing on life in rural Canada. She died at her home in Port Hope, Ontario on Monday night.

“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,” Kristin Cochrane, the CEO of Penguin Random House Canada, said in a statement.

Her first successful work came in 1968, when her short story collection, Dance of The Happy Shades, about life in the suburbs of western Ontario, won the Governor General’s Award.

Munro has published thirteen collections of stories as well as one novel, Lives of Girls and Women, and two volumes of Selected Stories.

In 1977, the New Yorker magazine published one of Munro’s stories, Royal Beatings, based on punishments she received from her father when she was young. She went on to have a long relationship with the publication.

Munro, the daughter of a fox farmer and a schoolteacher, was born in 1931 in Wingham, Ontario. Many of her stories are set in the area and chronicle the region’s people, culture and the way of life.

“Having been born in 1931, I was a little old, but not too old, and women like me after a couple of years were wearing miniskirts and prancing around,” she said.

One well-known story, The Bear Came Over the Mountain, was made into the 2006 film Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent.

In 2009, Munro won the Man Booker Prize International Prize for lifetime achievement. The judges said in a statement at the time: “To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before.”

She later won the Nobel Prize in 2013. Previous winners include literary giants such as Rudyard Kipling, Toni Morrison and Ernest Hemingway. The Nobel committee called Munro a “master of contemporary short story”. Munro said in an interview with the Guardian in 2013 that she had been “writing personal stories all my life”.

Her last collection of stories, Dear Life, was published in 2012. It included a collection of partly-autobiographical stories. Our students at Escola Oficial d’Idiomes in La Seu d’Urgell can find this book in our library.

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