Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
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What does it mean to be included in the O. Henry Prize Stories? How does an author refine their art? We've given the authors of the winning and recommended stories free rein to share their thoughts on these questions and others, and the result is a rare treat.

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Comments Alice Munro
2012 PEN/O. Henry Award-winning Author

It is a piece of cake, of course, to have a story chosen for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. I am delighted.

(author photo © Derek Shapton)

Writing Tips

I used to approach writing as the kind of holy activity that demanded ritual purification and fasting; then it was a skill to learn; then it was a discipline to practice. These days I am trying to let it be just the thing I do with my time, like breathing, letting the world come in and myself go out.

About the Author

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published twelve collections of stories—Dance of the Happy Shades; Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You; The Beggar Maid; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; The Love of a Good Woman; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; The View from Castle Rock; and Too Much Happiness—as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women, and a Selected Stories. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including three of Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards and two of its Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England's W. H. Smith Book Award, the United States' National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Mann Booker International Prize. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron.

Writer's Desk

As to work at present, I keep saying just one more story, then that's it. So?

Writing Tips

From "Corrie" by Alice Munro

He still did not touch Corrie, except for a grateful, almost formal goodbye. This subject must be altogether separate from what is between us, was what he seemed to be saying. We'll start fresh. We will be able again to feel that we're not hurting anybody. Not doing any wrong. That was how he would put it in his unspoken language. In her own language she made one half-joke that did not go over.

To view Alice Munro's past PEN/O'Henry Prize author spotlight page, click here.

Writer's Desk

Browse our archive of featured authors from this and other editions of The O. Henry Prize Stories.

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