Random House, Inc. “So much of what I think I know – and I think I know more about my mother’s life than almost any daughter could know – is refracted through the prism of her writing. Such is the power of her fiction that sometimes it even feels as though I’m living inside an Alice Munro story.”
The millions of people around the world who read Alice Munro’s work are enthralled by her insight into the human heart. Consider, then, what it would be like to have a mother who was so all-knowing. Worse, if that mother were world-famous as you were growing up and trying to make your own way as a writer, while you yourself followed in her footsteps, raising a family and trying to write on the side.
That is Sheila Munro’s dilemma, and it gives this book special fascination for anyone interested in their own relationship with their own mother, or their own daughter.
This book is, in effect, an intimate, affectionate biography of Alice Munro. It describes in a way that only a close relative could, the details of the family background. We follow the family history from the Laidlaws who left Scotland in the early 19th century, to Alice Munro’s birth in 1931, her early years and marriage all the way to the current family, including Alice Munro’s grandchildren. One of the many fascinations of the book is that faithful readers of Alice’s work – and are there any other kind? – will find constant echoes of settings, situations, and characters that occur in her fiction. So this book is not only a fascinating biography of Alice Munro, it also provides an informative commentary to the stories we all know.
But Sheila Munro goes further. As a writer growing up in the shadow of a writing mother, she’s able to write frankly and personally about being a daughter and about being a writer. With the publication of this book – richly embellished with scores of family photographs – Sheila Munro has established herself as a skilled and successful author in her own right.
• Includes dozens of fascinating Munro family snapshots scattered throughout the text • Full of real-life details that will fascinate any Alice Munro fan