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All Quotes by author - Alice Munro
" For a long time, I had the idea that I would do a certain amount of work the best I could, and then I would reach a comfort zone, and I wouldn't be pushed to write more. I would become a different person. It's a surprise to me that this hasn't happened. Your body ages, but your mind is the same. "
" Housework never really bothered me... what bothered me about it later was that it was expected to be your life... when you're a housewife, you are constantly interrupted. You have no space in your life. It isn't the fact that you do the laundry. "
" 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 don't think that much about my relationship with my mother and what it did to me. I sometimes feel terrible regret about her, what her life must have been like. Often, when I'm enjoying something, I think of how meager her rewards were and how much courage, in a way, she needed to go on living. "
" I got interested in reading very early, because a story was read to me, by Hans Christian Andersen, which was 'The Little Mermaid,' and I don't know if you remember 'The Little Mermaid,' but it's dreadfully sad. The little mermaid falls in love with this prince, but she cannot marry him because she is a mermaid. "
" I had my first baby at twenty-one. "
" I have never kept diaries. I just remember a lot and am more self-centered than most people. "
" I like gaps; all my stories have gaps. It seems this is the way people's lives present themselves. "
" I never start out with any kind of connecting theme or plan. Everything just falls the way it falls. I don't ever think about what kind of fiction I write or what I am writing about or what I am trying to write about. When I'm writing, what I do is I think about a story that I want to tell. "
" In my own work, I tend to cover a lot of time and to jump back and forward in time, and sometimes the way I do this is not very straightforward. "
" In those early days, the important thing was the happy ending. I did not tolerate unhappy endings - for my heroines, anyway. And later on, I began to read things like 'Wuthering Heights,' and very, very unhappy endings would take place, so I changed my ideas completely and went in for the tragic, which I enjoyed. "
" In twenty years I've never had a day when I didn't have to think about someone else's needs. And this means the writing has to be fitted around it. "
" I've lived in a big showplace house, and I never want to live again in a house that overshadows me. "
" I've often made revisions at that stage that turned out to be mistakes because I wasn't really in the rhythm of the story anymore. I see a little bit of writing that doesn't seem to be doing as much work as it should be doing, and right at the end, I will sort of rev it up. But when I finally read the story again, it seems a bit obtrusive. "
" I want the reader to feel something is astonishing - not the 'what happens' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me. "
" Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories - and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories. "
" My mother, I suppose, is still a main figure in my life because her life was so sad and unfair, and she so brave, but also because she was determined to make me into the Sunday-school-recitation little girl I was, from the age of seven or so, fighting not to be. "
" One is lucky to be born in a place where no one is doing it, because then you can say, 'Well, obviously I can write better than everyone else in high school.' You have no idea of the competition. "
" 'Royal Beatings' was my first story, and it was published in 1977. But I sent all my early stories to 'The New Yorker' in the 1950s, and then I stopped sending for a long time and sent only to magazines in Canada. 'The New Yorker' sent me nice notes, though - penciled, informal messages. They never signed them. They weren't terribly encouraging. "
" 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. "
" That's something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings. "
" The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless. I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple. "
" The deep, personal material of the latter half of your life is your children. You can write about your parents when they're gone, but your children are still going to be here, and you're going to want them to come and visit you in the nursing home. "
" The stories are not autobiographical, but they're personal in that way. I seem to know only the things that I've learned. Probably some things through observation, but what I feel I know surely is personal. "
" Time is something that interests me a whole lot - past and present, and how the past appears as people change. "
" Writers are always writing about infidelity. It's so dramatic. The wickedness of it, the secrecy, the complications, the finding that you thought you were one person but you're also this other person. The innocent life and the guilty life. My God, it's just full of stuff for a writer. I doubt it will ever go out of fashion. "
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