"The Found Boat"
"The strength of her fiction arises partially from its vivid sense of regional focus, most of her stories being set in Huron County, Ont, as well as from her sense of the narrator as the intelligence through which the world is articulated. Her theme has often been the dilemmas of the adolescent girl coming to terms with family and small town. Her more recent work has addressed the problems of middle age, of women alone and of the elderly." (excerpted from the online Munro entry of The 1998 Canadian & World Encyclopedia by McClelland & Stewart"The Found Boat" from SOMETHING I'VE BEEN MEANING TO TELL YOU (1974)
About short story and novel:
''I don't really understand a novel,'' Ms. Munro says. ''I don't understand where the excitement is supposed to come in a novel, and I do in a story. There's a kind of tension that if I'm getting a story right I can feel right away, and I don't feel that when I try to write a novel. I kind of want a moment that's explosive, and I want everything gathered into that.''
About rural southwestern Ontario.
"'I don't think it's very different at all from the Midwest,' she says. 'There are nice old-looking towns, substantial towns, with big brick houses and big shade trees, large churches - many large churches -and factories that tend not to be operating any more. There's good farming land, and the lake - Lake Huron, 10 miles from where I live. And there's a kind of ritualistic wildness - pretty wild, self-destructive driving, a whole culture of sports -hockey is the big thing. The people are very rooted in the place, and it doesn't really matter what happens outside - fame is getting your name in the local paper, not in The Toronto Globe and Mail.'"( excerpted from Canada's Alice Munro Finds Excitement in Short-Story Form )
About SOMETHING I'VE BEEN MEANING TO TELL YOU:
"The collection was an important step in Munro's artistic maturity. Many of these fictions moved away from the strictly regional concentration of her preceding two books, and she began to take considerable liberty with point-of-view. Third-person narratives and the disruption of linear chronology appeared. Characters were seen, or were self-revealed, as considerably more complex." (Some Other Reality 14)
Articles on specific work
Alice Munro: The Short Answer (an article on The Beggar Maid)
Biography from ChaptersGLOBE.com
The Craft of Alice Munro ("An Inner Bell that Rings: the Craft of Alice Munro") (from Antigonish)
Reading Guide to Open Secrets (from Vintage Reading Group Guide)