Hard on the heels of the other members of the “big three” English-language fiction triumvirate in Canada, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Awards shortlists were announced today. In the English-language fiction category, the awaited shortlist reads:
[Editor’s note: This is the first of eight excerpts from Douglas Gibson’s new book Stories About Storytellers: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre Trudeau, and Others. They will run every Friday for the next eight weeks. The following is an excerpt from a chapter on Alice Munro.]
When people ask me what Alice Munro is really like, I try to deal with the two halves of the complete Alice. One is the frowning, concerned good citizen, determined to do The Right Thing, and worrying her way towards it. That’s the Alice who some years ago quietly put me under pressure to make sure that her next book was printed on recycled environmentally friendly (and more expensive) paper. And this, I should note, was at a time when using recycled paper in books was still rare, and associated with new fringe books by small publishers, not major bestsellers by major writers published by major houses. So her choice had a huge impact.