Alice Munro was born in Wingham, Ontario, a small town that is close to the shores of Lake Huron. This region of southern Ontario is west of Toronto and east of Michigan, and includes the industrial cities of London and Windsor, though much of the land is countryside. While Munro did occasionally live in Vancouver, most of her life has been spent in Ontario: she attended Western Ontario University and now lives in Clinton, a small town just down the road from Wingham.
The majority of Alice Munro's stories are set in this small-town, Protestant region. Her sparse, realistic, Chekhovian style has, in part, helped to establish the southern Ontario gothic literary tradition which analyzes and critiques social conditions such as race, gender, religion and politics, of the region. It includes the work of writers like Margaret Atwood and Robertson Davies. Writing from this region bears similarities to literature from the southern U.S., though it also maintains the stoicism, Christian sensibilities, and agricultural lifestyle that is specific to the Ontario region.
This article was originally published in January 2013, and has been updated for the
July 2013 paperback release.
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