Here is Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro’s last paragraph in her last book, Dear Life. It makes as good a case as any for why people of all ages and dispositions find in her a voice that assuages some of the loneliness, the mystery, the ineffable quality of life:
“I did not go home for my mother’s last illness or for her funeral. I had two small children and nobody in Vancouver to leave them with. We could barely have afforded the trip, and my husband had a contempt for formal behavior, but why blame it on him? I felt the same. We say of some things that they can’t be forgiven, or that we will never forgive ourselves. But we do—we do it all the time.”
We do it all the time? Don’t we? Do we? That’s what the discussion in my book group was like. Enigmatic, tough, Alice Munro is a sturdy choice for this year’s award.