Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

89 Inspiring Quotes By Alice Munro, The Author Of Open Secrets

Famous As: Canadian Short Story Writer and Winner of 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature
Born On: July 10, 1931
Born In: Wingham, Canada
Age: 91 Years

Alice Ann Munro is a short story writer from Canada, who is credited for revolutionizing the craft of writing a short story and has won the highest literary awards for the body of work that she has churned out over a period of several decades. Munro has been an active short story writer from an early age and her first story, ‘The Dimensions of a Shadow’, was published when she was still only a teenager. She attended the University of Western Ontario to study journalism and English. Her first short story collection, ‘Dance of the Happy Shades’ was published in 1968 and won her an award. From then on she went from strength to strength as she reeled off many more short story collections over the years; notable among them being ‘Lives of Girls and Women’, ‘Friend of My Youth’, ‘The Moons of Jupiter’, ‘Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You’ and ‘Open Secrets’ among others. Munro introduced a new style of short stories in which the narrative is non-linear in nature and that was something that made her stories truly remarkable. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013 for her efforts. Here are some of her most well-known quotes.

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The constant happiness is curiosity.

The constant happiness is curiosity.

Alice Munro
The conversation of kisses. Subtle, engrossing, fearless, transforming.

The conversation of kisses. Subtle, engrossing, fearless, transforming.

Alice Munro
Never underestimate the meanness in people's souls... Even when they're being kind... especially when they're being kind.

Never underestimate the meanness in people's souls... Even when they're being kind... especially when they're being kind.

Alice Munro
Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind... When a woman goes out she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.

Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind... When a woman goes out she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.

Alice Munro
Because if she let go of her grief even for a minute it would only hit her harder when she bumped into it again.

Because if she let go of her grief even for a minute it would only hit her harder when she bumped into it again.

Alice Munro
In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, where something happened, and then there are all the other places.

In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, where something happened, and then there are all the other places.

Alice Munro
You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations.

You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations.

Alice Munro
Moments of kindness and reconciliation are worth having, even if the parting has to come sooner or later.

Moments of kindness and reconciliation are worth having, even if the parting has to come sooner or later.

Alice Munro
Why is it a surprise to find that people other than ourselves are able to tell lies?

Why is it a surprise to find that people other than ourselves are able to tell lies?

Alice Munro
She was learning, quite late, what many people around her appeared to have known since childhood that life can be perfectly satisfying without major achievements.

She was learning, quite late, what many people around her appeared to have known since childhood that life can be perfectly satisfying without major achievements.

Alice Munro
He never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life.

He never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life.

Alice Munro
I can't play bridge. I don't play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn't seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.

I can't play bridge. I don't play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn't seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.

Alice Munro
Love removes the world for you, and just as surely when it's going well as when it's going badly.

Love removes the world for you, and just as surely when it's going well as when it's going badly.

Alice Munro
People’s lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, and unfathomable – deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.

People’s lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, and unfathomable – deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.

Alice Munro
Life would be grand if it weren't for the people.

Life would be grand if it weren't for the people.

Alice Munro
They were all in their early thirties. An age at which it is sometimes hard to admit that what you are living is your life.

They were all in their early thirties. An age at which it is sometimes hard to admit that what you are living is your life.

Alice Munro
She would live now, not read.

She would live now, not read.

Alice Munro
Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it. You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.

Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it. You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.

Alice Munro
My head was a magpie's nest lined with such bright scraps of information.

My head was a magpie's nest lined with such bright scraps of information.

Alice Munro
There were people whom you positively ached to please. If you failed with such people they would put you into a category in their minds where they could kee you and have contempt for you forever.

There were people whom you positively ached to please. If you failed with such people they would put you into a category in their minds where they could kee you and have contempt for you forever.

Alice Munro
What she wants to do if she can get the time to do it, is not so much to live in the past as to open it up and get one good look at it

What she wants to do if she can get the time to do it, is not so much to live in the past as to open it up and get one good look at it".

Alice Munro
Every year, when you're a child, you become a different person.

Every year, when you're a child, you become a different person.

Alice Munro
You think that would have changed things? The answer is of course, and for a while, and never.

You think that would have changed things? The answer is of course, and for a while, and never.

Alice Munro
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 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.

Alice Munro
Who can ever say the perfect thing to the poet about his poetry?

Who can ever say the perfect thing to the poet about his poetry?

Alice Munro
What she felt was a lighthearted sort of compassion, almost like laughter. A swish of tender hilarity, getting the better of all her sores and hollows, for the time given.

What she felt was a lighthearted sort of compassion, almost like laughter. A swish of tender hilarity, getting the better of all her sores and hollows, for the time given.

Alice Munro
He was evidently the sort of person who posed questions that were traps for you to fall into.

He was evidently the sort of person who posed questions that were traps for you to fall into.

Alice Munro
And now such a warm commotion, such busy love.

And now such a warm commotion, such busy love.

Alice Munro
Braininess is not attractive unless combined with some signs of elegance; class.

Braininess is not attractive unless combined with some signs of elegance; class.

Alice Munro
There would never be any room in her for anything else. No room for anything but the realization of what she had done.

There would never be any room in her for anything else. No room for anything but the realization of what she had done.

Alice Munro
It’s just life. You can’t beat life.

It’s just life. You can’t beat life.

Alice Munro
I felt in him what women feel in men, something so tender, swollen, tyrannical, absurd; I would never take the consequences of interfering with it.

I felt in him what women feel in men, something so tender, swollen, tyrannical, absurd; I would never take the consequences of interfering with it.

Alice Munro
There are people who carry decency and optimism around with them, who seem to cleanse every atmosphere they settle in, and you can't tell such people things, it is too disruptive.

There are people who carry decency and optimism around with them, who seem to cleanse every atmosphere they settle in, and you can't tell such people things, it is too disruptive.

Alice Munro
I despised their antics because I took life seriously and had a much more lofty and tender notion of romance. But I would have liked to get their attention just the same.

I despised their antics because I took life seriously and had a much more lofty and tender notion of romance. But I would have liked to get their attention just the same.

Alice Munro
The images, the language, of pornography, and romance are alike; monotonous and mechanically seductive, quickly leading to despair.

The images, the language, of pornography, and romance are alike; monotonous and mechanically seductive, quickly leading to despair.

Alice Munro
I was amazed as people must be who are seized and kidnapped, and who realize that in the strange world of their captors they have a value absolutely unconnected with anything they know about themselves.

I was amazed as people must be who are seized and kidnapped, and who realize that in the strange world of their captors they have a value absolutely unconnected with anything they know about themselves.

Alice Munro
Now I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize.

Now I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize.

Alice Munro
Something happened here. In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, were something happened, and then there are all the other places

Something happened here. In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, were something happened, and then there are all the other places

Alice Munro
Now that I think of it, she looked splendid. I wish I had met her somewhere else. I wish I had appreciated her as she deserved. I wish that everything had gone differently.

Now that I think of it, she looked splendid. I wish I had met her somewhere else. I wish I had appreciated her as she deserved. I wish that everything had gone differently.

Alice Munro
She keeps on hoping from a word from Penelope, but not in any strenuous way. She hopes as people who know better hope for undeserved blessings, spontaneous remissions, things of that sort.

She keeps on hoping from a word from Penelope, but not in any strenuous way. She hopes as people who know better hope for undeserved blessings, spontaneous remissions, things of that sort.

Alice Munro
People who believe in miracles do not make much fuss when they actually encounter one

People who believe in miracles do not make much fuss when they actually encounter one

Alice Munro
And did I not think then, What nonsense it is to suppose one man so different from another when all that life really boils down to is getting a decent cup of coffee and room to stretch out in?

And did I not think then, What nonsense it is to suppose one man so different from another when all that life really boils down to is getting a decent cup of coffee and room to stretch out in?

Alice Munro
One stroke of lightning does not have to lead anywhere, but to the next stroke of lightning.

One stroke of lightning does not have to lead anywhere, but to the next stroke of lightning.

Alice Munro
It was at this time that she entirely gave up on reading.

The covers of books looked like coffins to her, either shabby or ornate, and what was inside them might as well have been dust.

It was at this time that she entirely gave up on reading. The covers of books looked like coffins to her, either shabby or ornate, and what was inside them might as well have been dust.

Alice Munro
And at the end of his letter one terrible sentence.

'If I loved you I would have written differently.

And at the end of his letter one terrible sentence. 'If I loved you I would have written differently.

Alice Munro
One's appreciation of meager comforts, it seems, depends on what misery one has gone through before getting them.

One's appreciation of meager comforts, it seems, depends on what misery one has gone through before getting them.

Alice Munro
Everybody said to me back home, what do you want to go to Alaska for, and I said, because I've never been there, isn't that a good enough reason?

Everybody said to me back home, what do you want to go to Alaska for, and I said, because I've never been there, isn't that a good enough reason?

Alice Munro
All these jobs that seemed incidental and almost playful, on the borders of my real life, were going to move front and center.

All these jobs that seemed incidental and almost playful, on the borders of my real life, were going to move front and center.

Alice Munro
Love dies all the time, or at any rate it becomes distracted, overlaid--it might as well be dead.

Love dies all the time, or at any rate it becomes distracted, overlaid--it might as well be dead.

Alice Munro
....Lived in curious but not unhappy isolation…subscribing to magazines nobody around them read, listening to programs on the national radio network which nobody around them listened to…

....Lived in curious but not unhappy isolation…subscribing to magazines nobody around them read, listening to programs on the national radio network which nobody around them listened to…

Alice Munro
Algo haba ocurrido all. En la vida tienes unos cuantos sitios, o quiz uno solo, donde ocurri algo, y despus estn todos los dems sitios.

Algo haba ocurrido all. En la vida tienes unos cuantos sitios, o quiz uno solo, donde ocurri algo, y despus estn todos los dems sitios.

Alice Munro
For what was living with a man if it wasn't living inside his insanity?

For what was living with a man if it wasn't living inside his insanity?

Alice Munro
None of us mattered to her, not me, or her critics or defenders. No more than bugs on a lampshade.

None of us mattered to her, not me, or her critics or defenders. No more than bugs on a lampshade.

Alice Munro
The skin of everyday appearances stretched over such shamelessness, such consuming explosions of lust.

The skin of everyday appearances stretched over such shamelessness, such consuming explosions of lust.

Alice Munro
Speculation can be more gentle, can take its time, when it is not driven by desire.

Speculation can be more gentle, can take its time, when it is not driven by desire.

Alice Munro
So what about me? Would I always have to find a high horse? The moral relish, the rising above, the being in the right, which can make me flaunt my losses.

So what about me? Would I always have to find a high horse? The moral relish, the rising above, the being in the right, which can make me flaunt my losses.

Alice Munro
He seemed happy. She thought that she seldom concerned herself about Laurence’s being happy. She wanted him to be in a good mood, so that everything would go smoothly, but that was not the same thing.

He seemed happy. She thought that she seldom concerned herself about Laurence’s being happy. She wanted him to be in a good mood, so that everything would go smoothly, but that was not the same thing.

Alice Munro
There were differences never to be mended, a word or an act never to be forgiven, a barrier never to be washed away.

There were differences never to be mended, a word or an act never to be forgiven, a barrier never to be washed away.

Alice Munro
Writing this letter is like putting a note in a bottle—
And hoping
It will reach Japan.

Writing this letter is like putting a note in a bottle— And hoping It will reach Japan.

Alice Munro
A certain kind of seriousness in a girl could cancel out looks

A certain kind of seriousness in a girl could cancel out looks

Alice Munro
My need for love had gone underground, like a canny toothache.

My need for love had gone underground, like a canny toothache.

Alice Munro
A fluid choice, the choice of fantasy, is poured out on the ground and instantly hardens; it has taken its undeniable shape.

A fluid choice, the choice of fantasy, is poured out on the ground and instantly hardens; it has taken its undeniable shape.

Alice Munro
He could no more describe the feeling he got from her than you can describe a smell. It's like the scorch of electricity. It's like burnt kernels of wheat. No, it's like a bitter orange. I give up.

He could no more describe the feeling he got from her than you can describe a smell. It's like the scorch of electricity. It's like burnt kernels of wheat. No, it's like a bitter orange. I give up.

Alice Munro
Sometimes I get the start of a story from a memory, an anecdote, but that gets lost and is usually unrecognizable in the final story.

Sometimes I get the start of a story from a memory, an anecdote, but that gets lost and is usually unrecognizable in the final story." [A Conversation with Alice Munro, BookBrowse, 1998]

Alice Munro
Half my concern in love became how to disguise love, to make it harmless and merry.

Half my concern in love became how to disguise love, to make it harmless and merry.

Alice Munro
He takes up too much room, on the divan and in one's mind. It is simply impossible for me, in his presence, think of anything but him.

He takes up too much room, on the divan and in one's mind. It is simply impossible for me, in his presence, think of anything but him.

Alice Munro
It is all about a girl who is more interested in politics than in love... the Russian censors will not let it be published and the world outside will not want it because it is so Russian.

It is all about a girl who is more interested in politics than in love... the Russian censors will not let it be published and the world outside will not want it because it is so Russian.

Alice Munro
The tiny share we have of time appalls me, though my father seems to regard it with tranquillity.

The tiny share we have of time appalls me, though my father seems to regard it with tranquillity.

Alice Munro
You would think that Rosemary would understand that. She should have understood what such a choice said - that Karin was not to be made happy, amends were not possible, forgiveness was out of the question.

You would think that Rosemary would understand that. She should have understood what such a choice said - that Karin was not to be made happy, amends were not possible, forgiveness was out of the question.

Alice Munro
What he carried with him, all he carried with him, was a lack, something like a lack of air, of proper behavior in his lungs, a difficulty that he supposed would go on forever.

What he carried with him, all he carried with him, was a lack, something like a lack of air, of proper behavior in his lungs, a difficulty that he supposed would go on forever.

Alice Munro
A million dollars in those days was a million dollars.

A million dollars in those days was a million dollars.

Alice Munro
She hated to hear the word

She hated to hear the word "escape" used about fiction. She might have argued, not just playfully, that it was real life that was the escape. But this was too important to argue about.

Alice Munro
He liked her not knowing. I could tell. He liked her not knowing. Her ignorance woke a pleasure that melted on his tongue, like a lick of toffee.

He liked her not knowing. I could tell. He liked her not knowing. Her ignorance woke a pleasure that melted on his tongue, like a lick of toffee.

Alice Munro
She did not have time to wonder about his being late. He died bent over the sidewalk sign that stood out in front of the hardware store... He had not even had time to get into the store...

She did not have time to wonder about his being late. He died bent over the sidewalk sign that stood out in front of the hardware store... He had not even had time to get into the store...

Alice Munro
He says the pills he's got her on will keep her from sinking too low. How low is too low, Roy thinks, and when can you tell?

He says the pills he's got her on will keep her from sinking too low. How low is too low, Roy thinks, and when can you tell?

Alice Munro
They spoke like caricatures, it was unbearable.

They spoke like caricatures, it was unbearable.

Alice Munro
It was comparable to getting sick from bad ventilation

It was comparable to getting sick from bad ventilation

Alice Munro
What good is it if you read Plato and never clean your toilet? asked my mother, reverting to the values of Jubilee.

What good is it if you read Plato and never clean your toilet? asked my mother, reverting to the values of Jubilee.

Alice Munro
Chronic means that it will be permanent but perhaps not constant.

Chronic means that it will be permanent but perhaps not constant.

Alice Munro
If this were fiction, as I said, it would be too much, but it is true.

If this were fiction, as I said, it would be too much, but it is true.

Alice Munro
You would think as you get older your mind would fill up with what they call the spiritual side of things, but mine just seems to get more and more practical, trying to get something settled.

You would think as you get older your mind would fill up with what they call the spiritual side of things, but mine just seems to get more and more practical, trying to get something settled.

Alice Munro
I was happy in the library. Walls of printed pages, evidence of so many created worlds--this was a comfort to me.

I was happy in the library. Walls of printed pages, evidence of so many created worlds--this was a comfort to me.

Alice Munro
Her hair had been long and wavy and brown then, natural in curl and color, as he liked it, and her face bashful and soft -- a reflection less of the way she was than of the way he wanted to see her.

Her hair had been long and wavy and brown then, natural in curl and color, as he liked it, and her face bashful and soft -- a reflection less of the way she was than of the way he wanted to see her.

Alice Munro
In your life there are a few places, or maybe only one place, where something has happened. And then there are the other places, which are just other places.

In your life there are a few places, or maybe only one place, where something has happened. And then there are the other places, which are just other places.

Alice Munro
Do you ever think that there used to be more sensible explanations about things than there are now?

Do you ever think that there used to be more sensible explanations about things than there are now?

Alice Munro
Life is always so full. Getting and spending we lay waste to our powers. Why do we let ourselves be so busy and miss doing things we should have, or would have, liked to do?

Life is always so full. Getting and spending we lay waste to our powers. Why do we let ourselves be so busy and miss doing things we should have, or would have, liked to do?

Alice Munro
People have thoughts they’d sooner not have. It happens in life.

People have thoughts they’d sooner not have. It happens in life.

Alice Munro
He said that we had just had an argument, what more did I want?
It was too polite, I said.

He said that we had just had an argument, what more did I want? It was too polite, I said.

Alice Munro
Poverty in girls is not attractive unless combined with sweet sluttishness, stupidity.

Poverty in girls is not attractive unless combined with sweet sluttishness, stupidity.

Alice Munro