English literature expert available to comment on Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize

An English literature expert from Western University believes that Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize of Literature, should be considered “the most important living practitioner of the short story in the anglophone world.”

“Most writers and critics agree that she is probably the most important living practitioner of the short story in the anglophone world,” says Bryce Traister, Chair of Western’s English Department at the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. “And the same would agree that she is probably one of the most accomplished prose stylists in any genre. Her work brings out the complexities of inner-life.

“She finds the extraordinary and the wondrous residing in the most ordinary and everyday events, and writes about those things in a way that finds the graceful, the beautiful, the terrible, and the tragic in all of us.”

Munro studied English at Western University as an undergraduate. In 1974-75, she returned to Western as its Writer-in-Residence where she worked on her collection of short stories, “Who Do You Think You Are?,” which won the Governor General’s Award. She received an Honorary Degree from Western in 1976, the only such degree she has ever accepted.

“This is the 40th Anniversary of the start of our program, the oldest Writer-in-Residence program in Canada, so we are especially thrilled that Ms. Munro’s Nobel prize came through this year,” says Traister. “The Department of English and Writing Studies is privileged and humbled to be able to play even this small part in her storied career.”