Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Best Contemporary Authors: Alice Munro
The Huffington Post recently asked 14 major fiction writers to choose the best contemporary writer of fiction ("The Most Important Contemporary Fiction Writer," Jan. 10, 2011.) While writers such as Philip Roth, Saul Bellow and Martin Amis were among the selections, I was struck that one of my favorite writers, Alice Munro, was chosen by two major writers – Mona Simpson, author of Anywhere But Here and Allan Gurganus, who wrote The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.
Munro, a Canadian, is best known as a short story writer, but her stories are exquisite mini-novels peopled with complex characters and intricate plots. “Writers everywhere study her stories to figure out just where and how they go so deep,” Simpson says. “This writer enjoys such a mercurial sense of time--she can compress a century to a page,” adds Gurganus.
If you have not tried Munro, you are in for a treat. She has been publishing her collections of stories for more than 40 years. Among my favorites:
Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You
Friend of My Youth
Too Much Happiness
at 1:05 PM