Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dear Alice Munro, Time to Own up to Your Greatness

Dear Alice,

Congratulations on winning the Man Booker International Prize. Your brilliant stories are clearly deserving of this honor. It may embarrass you to hear this yet again, but you are one of the greatest living writers in the English language, and it's quite an achievement to have earned the kind of recognition you have for almost exclusively writing short stories, a notoriously underappreciated form.

You are known for being modest and unassuming, which has its charms, but I think it's time for you to own up to your importance--and the importance of the short story form. Scores of writers nowhere near your equal are more than willing to assert their significance, which in very few cases approaches yours. And I would bet your work will be read long after most of theirs is forgotten. So when you accept the Man Booker International Award (and, who knows, maybe even the Nobel prize some day), please skip the self-effacement, and be proud of your work, your accomplishments, and the mark you've made with your stories.

Best wishes,

One of your many admirers