Canadian Author Alice Munro Has Died

She was 92 and had been living with dementia for at least a dozen years

Photo: Chad Hipolito / The Canadian Press

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 14, 2024

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian author Alice Munro has died. She was 92.

The critically acclaimed and universally beloved short story grandmaster passed away last night (May 13) at her Ontario care home, her family and former editor/publisher, Doug Gibson, confirmed. Munro had been living with dementia for at least a dozen years.

Born Alice Laidlaw in Wingham, ON, she began writing short stories as a teenager ahead of studying English and journalism on scholarship at the University of Western Ontario — where she would meet her first husband, bookseller Jim Munro, with whom she had four daughters, one dying shortly after her birth. Following their divorce in 1972, the writer married cartographer Gerald Fremlin, whom she had also met at university in London, ON. Munro is survived by her daughters Sheila, Jenny and Andrea.

She published her first short story collection, Dance of the Happy Shades, in 1968, which won the Governor's General Award — which was then Canada's highest literary prize. Munro earned her second of three such awards for 1978's Who Do You Think You Are?, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in Fiction under its international title, The Beggar Maid. The third came with 1986's The Progress of Love.

In addition to her Governor General's Awards and 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, the author received honours like the Man Booker International Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and multiple Scotiabank Giller Prizes for her 14 best-selling short story collections. Known for her hauntingly suspenseful and nuanced depiction of the inner lives of fictional Southern Ontarians, Munro was also adept at using music as a rhetorical device in her stories.

Likewise, her work inspired several film adaptations, including Pedro Almodóvar's 2016 film Julieta, drawn from 2004's Runaway. Munro's writing also served as source material for the movies Edge of Madness, Away from Her, and Hateship, Loveship.

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