Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Runaway

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by Alice Munro

Runaway by Alice Munro X
Runaway by Alice Munro
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2004, 352 pages
    Nov 2005, 352 pages

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Alice Munro was born in 1931 in Wingham, a small town in southwestern Ontario, to a family of small farmers. She received a scholarship to the University of Western Ontario, but left before graduating in order to marry another student, James Munro. The Munros raised three daughters and for several years ran a bookshop in Victoria; they eventually divorced and Alice Munro married Gerald Fremlin, a geographer. The Fremlins divide their time between Clinton, Ontario--not far from Munro's hometown of Wingham--and Comox, British Columbia.

She is the three-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, Canada's highest; the Lannan Literary Award; and the W. H. Smith Award, given to Open Secrets as the best book published in the United Kingdom in 1995. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. 

In her interview at BookBrowse, Munro says, "I seem to turn out stories that violate the discipline of the short story form and don't obey the rules of progression for novels. I don't think about a particular form, I think more about fiction, let's say a chunk of fiction. What do I want to do? I want to tell a story, in the old-fashioned way--what happens to somebody--but I want that 'what happens' to be delivered with quite a bit of interruption, turnarounds, and strangeness. I want the reader to feel something is astonishing--not the 'what happens' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me."

Read the interview and her biography (which includes a bibliography of her works) at BookBrowse.

This article is from the November 30, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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