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From the archives

The Trust Spiral

Restoring faith in the media

Dear Prudence

A life of exuberance and eccentricity

Who’s Afraid of Alice Munro?

A long-awaited biography gives the facts, but not the mystery, behind this writer’s genius


Take down Volume II, the last years when she was happy.

The tiny woman in the pince-nez, the veiled black hat,

black gloves, and a smartly tailored suit stares out at the

reader. Her thoughts, too, were veiled: from her husband,

her congregation, her readers, who expected only sunshine

from their favourite writer. Only in her journals could she

let off steam, as if she were a volcano about to erupt, words

flowing from her pen like molten tears.


She wished for an hour out of the past, a time when she

was happy but didn’t know it.  She wished to go back to

Park Corner, when she was still young and hopeful: before

her father died, her husband fell into madness, Frede died,

and the world changed.


She wrote about that hour out of the past, turning back

to a time when the world seemed safe, before motor cars,

world wars, madness, death. She gave her readers marriage

in the final chapter, the happy-ever-after ending.


She wrote about marriage failures, war, despair, madness,

death. The anger we carry in our bones because life cheats

us, steals what we hold most dear, gives us back our dreams

with tarnished corners. The secrets we never reveal.


Katherine Cameron teaches English and writing at Concordia University College in Edmonton. Her first collection of poetry, Strange Labyrinth, will be published by Oolichan Books in October 2014.