Alice Munro crossing genres?

According to some, Alice Munro’s latest book, The View from Castle Rock might be considered a blend of fiction of nonfiction. This is probably heresy for some Munro fans, but I think it’s great. I am fascinated by that sneaky place where nonfiction meets fiction, and especially by the way authors handle it and how they talk about it. It seems to me that when nonfiction writers cross the line into fiction, there’s often uproar or disdain, but when fiction writers do it, it’s “mixed genre” or “crossing genres” or “experimental.”

A quote from a review in the Providence Journal:

In a foreword somewhat uncharacteristic for fiction, Munro explains that the book’s interconnected stories are based on tracking her family history, from their migration from 18th-century Scotland through to the present. Yet despite the obvious call to history and its records and legends, Munro makes clear that, “These are stories.” In talking about the conflation of fiction and true narrative, Munro writes that these “two streams came close enough together that they seemed to me meant to flow in one channel, as they do in this book.”


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