Sunday, January 15, 2006

Writing Home

From a 1974 Alice Munro story titled “Home:”

… we follow slowly that old usual route. Victoria Street. Minnie Street. John Street. Catherine Street. The town, unlike the house, stays very much the same, nobody is renovating or changing it. Nevertheless it has faded, for me. I have written about it and used it up. The same banks and barber shops and town hall tower, but all their secret, plentiful messages drained away.

(Quoted in Robert Thacker, Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives: A Biography (McClelland & Stewart, 2005) at 6.)


patricia said...

Oh I cannot wait to read that book.

What do you think of it?

Kate S. said...


I'm not very far into it yet, but so far so good. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning with the author's talk of exploring the parallel tracks of Munro's life and work. But it has quickly become clear that that doesn't mean rooting around in her stories for details about her life. He begins with a statement that Munro once made in an interview that for her stories "there's always a starting point in reality." He seeks out that starting point, but with a view to illuminating the process by which she creates her stories, rather than a gossipy interest on which details are true and which aren't. The focus is squarely on her work and her creative process which is what fascinates me. I will give a full report when I've finished it.

Julie said...

That's a great quote. I know that feeling very well.