I don’t know if you saw this blip pop up yesterday afternoon, but it seems that Alice Munro is a little bit peeved with the continued success of fellow short story writer George Saunders. While I was writing my review for Munro’s story collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, I kept noticing mentions of a phone interview Munro had this past weekend where she called George Saunders an “overrated, overwrought creator of disfigured stories.” Yeah, 81-year-old Alice Munro isn’t afraid to throw down.
To my knowledge, recently proclaimed “Writer of Our Time” George Saunders has yet to respond to Munro’s shots, but it’s hard to imagine him taking her comments lightly. If Saunders is the writer of our time, then Munro is the writer of our grand-parents’, parents’, and older siblings’ time. And she ain’t to be trifled with. When asked why Saunders’s collection has overshadowed her own, Munro continued to take the offensive, stating “Saunders has had a good stretch. And E.L. James sold 70 million books this year. So, either everyone is getting dumber or they’re trying to make ironic purchases.”
What’s most surprising about these remarks is that they come from Alice Munro. I mean, she’s a Canadian for goodness sake. A CANADIAN! Since when do they say bad things about anyone, eh? They’re more likely to send you a kind, encouraging, hand written letter than to publicly mock your success. Despite the throw down, I think us readers can all agree on one thing: whether a collection from Munro or from Saunders, we just want to read it.
Sorry, y’all. I have no self-control. Happy April Fools Day, everyone!