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Essay on Alice Munro – A Master of Canadian Short Story

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Introduction: All of us have read or heard many stories. They may be funny, sad, interesting or the other perceptions of man. The main elements of a short story consist of plot, characterisation, narrative technique, theme, tone, language, setting and atmosphere. The short story in Canada really developed in the late 19th century. Making a slow start in the 1830s, it picked up in the mid-nineteenth century when newspapers and magazines gave a fillip to its publication. A question often asked is what makes a short story specifically Canadian? Margaret Atwood opines, “The definition of ‘Canadian short story’ like that ‘Canadian itself has a hard core with fuzzy edges. Canadian short story writers are eclectic in their approach like story writers elsewhere in the English-speaking world. The contemporary Canadian short story is a mosaic woven out of many strands. It left behind the sentimentality of romance and confronted life and society head on, Canadian short story is, more or less, no different from the short stories written the world over. Some of the important contemporary short story writers are -Margaret Atwood, Margaret Lawrence, Ken Mitchell, Alice Munro etc. So the range and variety in Canadian short story is also limitless.
Alice Munro - Life and Works:
Canadian writer Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday (10-10-2013), is an admitted short story addict who has garnered international praise for her tales of struggles, loves and tragedies of women in small town and rural Canada. She became the second Canadian-born writer to win the prize, although she is the first winner with a distinct Canadian identity. Saul Bellow, who won the award in 1976, was born in Quebec, but raised in Chicago a...


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... condition. The Swedish Academy of Nobel Prize hailed Munro as master of the Contemporary Short Story, a genre rarely awarded. Several Critics referred to her as ‘Canadian Chekhov’, comparing her to Russian master story teller ‘Anton Chekhov’. After winning the Nobel Prize, Munro has said she writes about the “Underbelly of relationships”. The Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, Peter Englaud, announces the Nobel Prize called Munro, “Master of the Contemporary Short Story”. Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper congratulated Munro on Twitter “On behalf of all Canadians”.



Works Cited

1. Hesse. M.G(ed): ‘Women in Canadian Literature’, Ottawa, Borealis Press, 1976
2. Manorama Trika (ed): ‘Canadian Short Stories’ New Delhi, Pencraft International, 1999.
3. Parameswari. D (ed): ‘Studies in Canadian Women’s Writing’, Chennai, emerald Publishers, 2008.



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