Saturday 2 November 2013

How rejection failed to change Munro’s short story identity

One of the rejection letters found in the Harry Ransom Center. Texas.

Did you know that the work of the latest Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Alice Munro was roundly rejected over 45 years ago?

Munro, it was revealed, few days ago, got rejection letters from a New York-based publishing company, Alfred A. Knopf. Munro’s kind of work, it was argued by the publishing company, was not considered worthy of novel. But Munro was not bothered and stuck to her short story format.

Archive of her rejection letters, it has been exposed, were found through the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin.

One of the letters written by Knopf editor, Judith Jones in 1968 was a response to Munro’s book Dance of the Happy Shades. “Nothing particularly new and exciting”, Jones writes. The editor describes Muro “Not that young”. 
As the first Canadian to win a Nobel, Munro is also the 13th woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature.

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