Alice Munro Dead at 92 Years Old

( – Some people have a magical way with words. They’re able to take the English language and craft it into compelling stories that leave the reader wanting more. Alice Munro, a famed storyteller whose pieces won her the Nobel Prize in Literature, was one such figure. Sadly, she has passed away at the age of 92.

A Penguin Random House Canada spokesman confirmed Munro’s death. She passed away on Monday, May 13, at a nursing home in Port Hope, Ontario. Her health had been declining for more than a decade following open-heart surgery and a battle with cancer. She didn’t let that stop her from writing though.

Munro was born in Wingham, Ontario, in July 1931. She was the oldest of three children and ended up caring for her mother, Anne Laidlaw, when she developed Parkinson’s. She would go on to use that experience in her writing.

The prolific writer studied English in college, before dropping out and getting married. Her unfinished college degree, however, didn’t derail her plans to write fiction. She started a family with her husband, James Munro, and cited her busy life as a reason she focused solely on short stories, despite her writing prowess. While her marriage ended in 1973, she had already established herself in the literary field. She sold her first short story to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and it steamrolled from there.

Some of Munro’s notable works include “Dance of the Happy Shades,” which won the Governor General’s award — at the time was Canada’s highest literary prize — and her most famous, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” which was made into a movie. In total, she published 14 short story collections, not including the works she submitted to literary magazines. She won the Nobel Prize in 2013 at the age of 82.

When asked why she never wrote a longer book — a novel — she said she felt daunted by it and several attempts to do so failed as she said they “start[ed] to sag.” Instead, she loved the tension that builds up quickly in a story. In 1998, she was quoted as saying her “ambition is to write a novel before I die,” but sadly, she never did.

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