On The Books: Alice Munro is so money

alice-munro

Image Credit: Paul Hawthorn/AP

In honor of the Nobel laureate winner, Canada has put Alice Munro on a new collector’s coin. The Guardian reports that the engraving on the coin is of an “ethereal female figure emerging from a pen as a representation of one of the many central characters from Alice Munro’s beloved short stories,” said the Mint, as well as an image of an open book, inscribed with a passage from Munro’s The View from Castle Rock. Two other notable author’s are getting honored by mints around the world: Jane Austen will be appearing on future £10 notes in England and Astrid Lindgren her character Pippi Longstocking will grace Sweden’s 20 kronor notes next year. The irony is not lost on me. Attention writers: you will be penniless in life, but after death — if you’re lucky — they’ll be printing money with your face on it.

A previously unpublished short story by Tennessee Williams is going to be printed in The Strand magazine’s spring issue. It’s called “Crazy Nights” and it’s about his college girlfriend, Anna Jean, who he dated at the University of Missouri. The themes are similar to his other works and the characters are titular, cynical and filled with disappointment. His narrator enjoys “the ultimate degree of intimacy” with Anna Jean. “Both her arms were lifted toward me,” wrote Williams. “I had fallen between them. And the rest of what happened between us was a blind thing, almost involuntary, drawing from us both something that seemed hardly a part of ourselves.” [The Guardian]

NPR’s Fresh Air has an extended interview with Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for The New Yorker. His new book How About Never – Is Never Good For You?, comes out today and you can read our review here. For a taste of the interview, here’s his explanation for embarrassment as a means to humor:

My mother was so picky that when she went to a restaurant she’d give these incredible orders, detailed, and even before the food would get to the table she would reject it — like an anti-missile system. … I was completely embarrassed, but embarrassment is the mother’s milk of humor. Embarrassment at one time, humor later. Anything that’s embarrassing is potentially funny. I think what Jewish culture taught me … is all these embarrassing things, all these guilt-filled things, all these anxiety-filled things are material.

And lastly, a Brooklyn-based writer at Flavorwire posits that maybe the Midwest is the future of American literature. You move first then, bro. No, he has a point. New York isn’t the center of the world — even when it comes to publishing.


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