A DAY FOR ALL WOMEN

At long last, Alice Munro, the woman and her words, awarded the ulti­mate lit­er­ary prize, the Nobel.

She has not spent her life long­ing for this, or for acclaim, fame, celebrity or the desire to obtain the trap­pings of a lux­u­ri­ous lifestyle.  It’s been about the work, about the per­fec­tion of each sen­tence, within each story.

She tells life­time events in para­graphs so still and yet so active with life that one read­ing is never enough.  I was given Dance of the Happy Shades by my mother. It was Munro’s first book; she was 37 when it was pub­lished.  I was 18 years old, and still remem­ber the story, as if I read it yesterday.

Through more than 40 years I have read every­thing she gave us, waited for each new story, col­lec­tion, book.  Ear­lier this year she announced she was fin­ished writ­ing, not tired of writ­ing, but done.  And it is a job well done, in a career she cor­rectly noted is hard work, not glam­orous activ­ity.  In Canada, away from the fancy par­ties, high-end din­ners, tele­vi­sions appear­ances and all the rest of the glit­ter that’s become part of the iden­tity of the suc­cess­ful writer, Alice Munro wrote, and wrote and wrote.  Her sto­ries make me think in a more nuanced and tex­tured way, have offered a wider world inside the smaller ones she detailed. She made me under­stand the nobil­ity of this craft.

Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize is a vic­tory for all women, not just writ­ers, pub­lished ones or oth­er­wise, but for all of us. Alice Munro gave women’s sto­ries impor­tance — our small and large deci­sions, tri­umphs and dis­ap­point­ments.  She encap­su­lated the com­plex­ity of rela­tion­ships, their inher­ent heart­break as well as life-affirming con­nec­tions.  She has done this as no other writer in my time.  Alice Munro’s sto­ries tell us that we mat­ter, that even if hid­den from the urban throb of excite­ment, women’s lives mat­ter — that we exist – that we con­tinue to hold our place in the con­ti­nu­ity of human­ity, that we are present in the moment itself.

And so, to Alice Munro, a thank you beyond the power of words to con­vey, for all you have given so many of us. Cel­e­brate with us as we cel­e­brate you. Your mod­esty and humil­ity have never failed to move and impress me, but this is your moment to soar. I am float­ing high above earth on a cloud that says… YES, YES … Alice Munro The Nobel Win­ner, a woman for all our lives, for all time.

3 Comments

Filed under Life, Love, Relationships, This Moment, Women, Writers

3 Responses to A DAY FOR ALL WOMEN

  1. Lovely piece, Alida. You were lucky to get to read Alice so early in your life. Thanks to your lit­er­ate mother. Love, Florence

  2. Thank you, Alida, for this uplift­ing homage to Alice Munro, for shar­ing your enthu­si­asm and gen­er­ously mak­ing all of us feel bet­ter for it and want to give some­thing in return.
    Bernadette

  3. Thank you, Alida. Beau­ti­fully said.

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