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Alice Munro, Nobel-winning author who once lived in Victoria, dies at 92

Her publisher, Random House Canada said Munro died Mon. in her home in Port Hope, Ont.

Community
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Alice Munro, Nobel-winning author who once lived in Victoria, dies at 92

Her publisher, Random House Canada said Munro died Mon. in her home in Port Hope, Ont.

Canada Post issued a stamp in Alice Munro’s honour in 2015. Photo: Canada Post
Canada Post issued a stamp in Alice Munro’s honour in 2015. Photo: Canada Post
Community
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Alice Munro, Nobel-winning author who once lived in Victoria, dies at 92

Her publisher, Random House Canada said Munro died Mon. in her home in Port Hope, Ont.

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Alice Munro, Nobel-winning author who once lived in Victoria, dies at 92
Canada Post issued a stamp in Alice Munro’s honour in 2015. Photo: Canada Post

One of Canada’s most celebrated literary masters, Munro packed depth into the short-story format. Born in rural Ontario, she wrote most often about the lives of small-town girls and women. In 1963, she co-founded Munro’s Books while living here with her first husband, Jim.

Back then, Munro’s was located near the Odeon Theatre (it later would move to Fort and then in 1980s, to Government) and Munro—a young mother of three girls—would help out in the bookstore. 

“So she was never like, officially at this location,” Jessica Walker, one of the bookstore’s owners, tells Capital Daily.

“She was [here] when the store first opened—but she did work in the bookstore in the early years.”

Then there were changes

The couple divorced in the early 1970s and remained friends but Walker said the “official connection” ended then.

“She and Jim Munro remained good friends and you know, over the years—before I joined the store—she did book signings here.”

Munro returned to Ontario in 1973 often spending winters in the Comox Valley, and had family here on the Island. 

Walker remembers meeting Munro a couple of times in the mid-2000s, and “she was no diva,” she said.

“Munro’s always has aspiring writers on staff and she was very generous when encouraging some writers, whether they were pure or not,” Walker said fondly.

“And then I was here when she won the Nobel Prize in 2013 and she was actually in Victoria when that was announced.”

When Munro rented her Comox condo out in 2013 after her second husband’s death, the woman living there inadvertently became the first to receive her Nobel Prize congratulations—on a 5am phone call from Munro’s publisher.

"She was in the store not too long after that, so I got to visit with her briefly then,” Walker said.

Lots of calls to the bookstore

Munro’s posted an In Memoriam message on its social network pages and Walker said the bookstore had received many calls of condolences and that people were coming in looking for her work.

Some of Munro’s more popular short-story collections include her last one, Dear Life, Too Much Happiness, and My Best Stories.

 “She’s a perennial seller on our shelves,” Walker said.

Alice Munro was a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award and a two-time winner of the Giller Prize. She also won the UK’s Man Booker International Prize in 2009 with her work said to be “practically perfect”, according to one judge.

Her publisher, Random House Canada said Munro died Mon. in her home in Port Hope, Ont. 

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Alice Munro, Nobel-winning author who once lived in Victoria, dies at 92
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