Posted by: kimberlysullivan | November 3, 2017

Alice Munro on small town stories

“The writers of the American South were the first writers who really moved me because they showed me that you could write about small towns, rural people, and that kind of life I knew very well.”

Alice Munro

I like this quote from short story writer Alice Munro. And if anyone knows how to tell great small town stories, it is this talented Canadian writer.

That’s why I enjoyed learning that she herself was influenced by the stories of writers from the American south. It is true that these are most commonly big stories set in small towns, but filled with powerful emotions and beautiful insights into life – just like what I feel when I read Munro’s take on small town Canadian life. Obviously, minus the mint juleps, sultry summers, and Spanish moss …

What do you think, readers? What are your favorite small town stories/authors? And do you have a regional bias in your favorites?



  1. I love Alice Munro and I agree with her opinion. It’s strange that the south has such a bad rap in the US but produced so many of the best authors of all times. Since I like settings and detailled descriptions in writing I also like many southern writers a lot. One of my favorites is Donna Tart and as a girl growing up in the south she was certainly inspired by southern authors as well.

    • Isn’t Munro great? I was also happy to read these comments and to see she was inspired by southern writers – I hadn’t known that either. The funny thing is, now that I’ve read it, it makes perfect sense. Like the southern writers, she manages to turn a story set in a small town into a much larger tale of the human condition and the big themes that tie us all together. So much of her writing stays with me so long after I’ve read it …

      • I feel the same about her writing. The best stories are the ones that stay with us long after we’ve read them.

  2. I love this.

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