Philip Roth wasn’t the only writer to take the unusual step of announcing his retirement at the end of last year. Confirmation that Alice Munro was also relinquishing fiction was tucked away on the New Yorker’s blog, Page-Turner, three days after the New York Times ran an interview with Roth on its front page. While literary magazines here and overseas continue to publish tributes to Roth, the dearth of comparable pieces on Munro has been conspicuous. Surely it’s not because we don’t think she’s any good. Like rainbows, sleep, and the Beatles, her short stories are things upon which we can all agree.
Melinda Harvey is a Melbourne-based book critic. Her writing has appeared in many publications, including Australian Book Review, the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Literary Review, and the Canberra Times. She has a PhD in English from the University of Sydney and has lectured on literature there and also at ANU, RMIT, Monash University, and the European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin. These experiences have provided much fodder for a campus novel that she hopes to write by the time she’s seventy-one (and she thanks Mary Wesley for this kindly benchmark).
From the New Issue
Lettersby Margaret Simons, Angela Woollacott, David Bradford, Michael K. Launer, and Sheila Fitzpatrick
The Surprise Party: How the Coalition went from chaos to comeback by Aaron PatrickReviewed by Shaun Crowe
Decolonizing Universalism: A transnational feminist ethic by Serene J. KhaderReviewed by Daniel Halliday