Alice Munro quotes

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

    #Real #Parent #Shame

  • I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Art #People #Important

  • I want my stories to be something about life that causes people to say, not, oh, isn't that the truth, but to feel some kind of reward from the writing, and that doesn't mean that it has to be a happy ending or anything, but just that everything the story tells moves the reader in such a way that you feel you are a different person when you finish.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Moving #Writing #Mean

  • 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

    #Men #Rooms #Remember

  • 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

  • She could not explain or quite understand that it wasn't altogether jealousy she felt, it was rage. And not because she couldn't shop like that or dress like that. It was because that was what girls were supposed to be like. That was what men - people, everybody - thought they should be like. Beautiful, treasured, spoiled, selfish, pea-brained. That was what a girl should be, to be fallen in love with. Then she would become a mother and she'd be all mushily devoted to her babies. Not selfish anymore, but just as pea-brained. Forever.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Love #Beautiful #Girl

  • 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

    #Forgiveness #Forgiving #Never Forgive

  • I loved taking off. In my own house, I seemed to be often looking for a place to hide - sometimes from the children but more often from the jobs to be done and the phone ringing and the sociability of the neighborhood. I wanted to hide so that I could get busy at my real work, which was a sort of wooing of distant parts of myself.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Jobs #Children #Real

  • The unhappiest moment I could never tell you. All our fights blend into each other and are in fact re-enactments of the same fight, in which we punish each other--I with words, Hugh with silence--for being each other. We never needed any more than that.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Fighting #Silence #Facts

  • 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

    #Letting Go #Grief #Minutes

  • 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

    #Age #Sometimes

  • People are curious. A few people are. ... They will put things together, knowing all along that they may be mistaken. You see them going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading microfilm, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Notebook #Reading #Knowing

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

    #World #Wells

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

    #Kissing #Fearless #Subtle

  • 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.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Everything Happens For A Reason #Long #Want

  • 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

    #Done #Realization #Rooms

  • I never have a problem with finding material. I wait for it to turn up, and it always turns up. It’s dealing with the material I’m inundated with that poses the problem.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Waiting #Problem #Turns

  • The constant happiness is curiosity.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Inspirational Life #Epic #Curiosity

  • 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

    #Writing #Bridges #Play

  • This is the way you look at the poorest details of the world resurfaced, after you've been driving for a long time -- you feel their singleness and precise location and the forlorn coincidence of you being there to see them.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Travel #Long #Details

  • It almost seemed as if there must be some random and of course unfair thrift in the emotional housekeeping of the world, if the great happiness--however temporary, however flimsy--of one person could come out of the great unhappiness of another.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Emotional #World #Unhappiness

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

    #Simple #People #Kitchen

  • I don't always, or even usually, read stories from beginning to end. I start anywhere and proceed in either direction. A story is not like a road to follow, it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Reading #House #Stories

  • Country manners. Even if somebody phones up to tell you your house is burning down, they ask first how you are.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Country #Phones #House

  • 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

    #People #Achievement #Childhood

  • It's certainly true that when I was young, writing seemed to me so important that I would have sacrificed almost anything to it ... Because I thought of the world in which I wrote -- the world I created -- as somehow much more enormously alive than the world I was actually living in.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Writing #Important #Alive

  • The story fails but your faith in the importance of doing the story doesn't fail.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Stories #Failing #Importance

  • 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

    #Taken #People #Treasure

  • The thing is to be happy,' he said. 'No matter what. Just try that. You can. It gets to be easier and easier. It's nothing to do with circumstances. You wouldn't believe how good it is. Accept everything and then tragedy disappears. Or tragedy lightens, anyway, you're just there, going along easy in the world.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Believe #Tragedy #Trying

  • That's something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Thinking #Growing #Happy Endings

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

    #Perfect #Poet

  • The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless. I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Mean #Simple #Chaos

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

    #Lying #People #Able

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

    #People #Soul #Be Kind

  • I sit watching the brown oceanic waves of dry country rising into the foothills and I weep monotonously, seasickly. Life is not like the dim ironic stories I like to read, it is like a daytime serial on television. The banality will make you weep as much as anything else.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Country #Ironic #Television

  • 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.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Stories #Way

  • If I decided to send this to you, where would I send it? When I think of writing the whole address on the envelope I am paralyzed. It's too painful to think of you in the same place with your life going on in the same way, minus me. And to think of you not there, you somewhere else but I don't know where that is, is worse.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Writing #Thinking #Addresses

  • I used to feel for years and years and years that I was very remiss not to have written a novel and I would question people who wrote novels and try to find out how they did it and how they had got past page 30. Then, with the approach of old age, I began to just think: “Well, lucky I can do anything at all.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Thinking #Past #Years

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

    #Peace #Kindness #Moments

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

    #Class #Elegance #Attractive

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

    #Nests #Information #Magpies

  • Anecdotes don't make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Writing #People #Anecdotes

  • There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can't know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you've reached it. I believe this.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Believe #House #Limits

  • A story ... has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Stories #Shelter #Sturdy

  • 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

    #Men #Absurd #Feels

  • Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories - and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Memories #People #Way

  • It's as if tendencies that seem most deeply rooted in our minds, most private and singular, have come in as spores on the prevailing wind, looking for any likely place to land, any welcome.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Wind #Land #Mind

  • I read a book called The Art of Loving. A lot of things seemed clear while I was reading it but afterwards I went back to being more or less the same.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Art #Book #Reading

  • One drop of hatred in your soul will spread and discolor everything like a drop of black ink in white milk.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Hate #White #Hatred

  • I would ... go up to the mailbox and sit in the grass, waiting. ... Till it came to me one day there were women doing this with their lives, all over. There were women just waiting and waiting by mailboxes for one letter or another. I imagined me making this journey day after day and year after year, and my hair starting to go gray, and I thought, I was never made to go on like that. ... If there were woman all through life waiting, and women busy and not waiting, I knew which I had to be.
    -- Alice Munro

    #Journey #Hair #Years