August 29, 2009

Classy Alice

My review of the new Alice Munro collection, Too Much Happiness, is in today's Montreal Gazette and online here.

In case you don't feel like clicking through, I might as well tell you that I loved it, and I was really thrilled to have it assigned to me! (As absolutely ludicrous and surreal as it seems to for me to be reviewing the Master, but that is sometimes the way things work.)

The Globe has the excellent Anne Enright reviewing it, though she only has a few paragraphs about this collection, the rest of the review taken up with more general (but very eloquent) praise.

McClelland & Stewart also announced yesterday that Alice Munro requested Too Much Happiness not be submitted for consideration for the Giller, a prize she has already won twice, in order to leave the field open for younger writers. I think that this is an extremely classy move, though if you read the comments on Bookninja here and on CBC here you will find some other opinions (e.g. it's an arrogant move to assume her book will win, it taints the prize for anyone now who does win, etc., etc.).


Andrew M. said...

Hm. On the one hand, I can see why some people might find it arrogant. On the other hand, it's Alice Munro and every new book she puts out ends up on a short list anyway. It's hard to knock her, especially when her heart's in the right place.

Also, good luck on the ReLit award!

- andrew

Jonathan Ball said...

I think this is M&S's lack of classiness at work... they should have quietly not submitted the book, as requested by Munro, not sent out a frigging press release about how they weren't going to submit it.

saleema said...

@Andrew Thanks for the luck!

@Jonathan I hadn't even thought of that! I guess M&S isn't going to lose the option of some book publicity when they know they're going to lose any possible Giller sales-bump.