PRH Canada & U.S. Literary Treasure, Alice Munro, Nobel Literature Laureate, Dies at 92


Alice Munro, Photo Credit: Derek Shapton.

On May 14, 2024, Penguin Random House Canada shared the sad news that beloved Nobelist author Alice Munro has died at the age of 92 in her home in Port Hope, Ontario.

In Canada, McClelland & Stewart has long been the proud publisher of Munro’s fiction and Penguin Canada is the longtime publisher of Alice Munro in paperback. In the U.S., Munro is published by Alfred A. Knopf and Vintage, where she was edited by Ann Close since 1978.

In 2013, Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first Canadian author, and the thirteenth woman, to be awarded the prize.  Munro has been the recipient of many additional prestigious awards and prizes, including two Giller Prizes for The Love of a Good Woman and Runaway in 1998 and 2004, respectively, the Trillium Book Award, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England’s W. H. Smith Literary Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Man Booker International Prize. Hailed as a “master of the contemporary short story,” her “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” was filmed by Sarah Polley as Away from Her, and “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” as Hateship Loveship.

Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario where she published her first story “The Dimensions of a Shadow.” After moving to Victoria, BC, in 1963, she opened Munro’s Books bookstore with her then husband, James. Her first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968) was awarded the Governor General’s Award, which would mark the beginning of a long and prized career.

Since then, she has published thirteen collections of stories, as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women, and two volumes of Selected Stories. She was awarded her second Governor General’s Literary Award in 1978 for Who Do You Think You Are?, a collection of interlinked stories that was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1980 under the title The Beggar Maid. She was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award a third time in 1986 for The Progress of Love.

Kristin Cochrane, CEO of Penguin Random House Canada, said, “Alice Munro is a national treasure—a writer of enormous depth, empathy, and humanity whose work is read, admired, and cherished by readers throughout Canada and around the world. Alice’s writing inspired countless writers too, and her work leaves an indelible mark on our literary landscape. All of us at Penguin Random House Canada mourn this loss and we join together with our colleagues at Penguin Random House in the US, the UK, and globally in appreciation for all that Alice Munro has left behind.”

Posted: May 14, 2024