I love the slow and deliberate burn of a short story, the way it can cast a short-lived but intense burst of light around a perfectly-formed moment. Alice Munro is a Canadian short-story writer, winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction, and a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize.
I've repeatedly said that I like stories where nothing happens the most. Plot is secondary for Munro. It's her ability to write women that draws me in (like William Trevor, another short story writer I adore, in this regard). But her empathy for her gender isn't overdone; her language is spare and precise making the emotional depth of her writing more resonant and real than stories with a more lyrical style.
I love this photograph of Munro taken in the Long Room of my alma mater, where she was awarded the Booker. Photo via.