Dance of the Happy Shades

Alice Munro's first collection of short stories won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 1968.

Alice Munro

In the stories that make up Dance of the Happy Shades, the deceptive calm of small-town life is brought memorably to the page, revealing the countryside of Southwestern Ontario to be home to as many small sufferings and unanticipated emotions as any place. This is the book that earned Alice Munro a devoted readership and established her as one of Canada's most beloved writers. Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 1968, Dance of the Happy Shades is Munro's first short story collection. (From Penguin Canada)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

Here they found themselves year after year — a group of busy, youngish women who had eased their cars impatiently through the archaic streets of Rosedale, who had complained for a week previously about the time lost, the fuss over the children's dresses, and, above all, the boredom, but who were drawn together by a rather implausible allegiance — not so much to Miss Marsalles as to the ceremonies of their childhood, to a more exacting pattern of life which had been breaking apart even then but which survived, and unaccountably still survived, in Miss Marsalles's living room.

From Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro ©1968. Published by Penguin Random House Canada.

Author interviews

From the archives: Alice Munro

10 years ago
Duration 2:16
Rex Murphy profiled the Nobel Prize for Literature winner back in 1990.

Art of the short story

10 years ago
Duration 3:27
If Nobel Prize winning author Alice Munro mastered the contemporary short story, what can new writers do with the form?
A rare conversation with Canada’s first winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. In this interview from 2004, Eleanor speaks with Munro about her Giller Prize-winning collection of short stories, Runaway.
Author Alice Munro reads from her story <em>The Ottawa Valley</em> and talks about her style as a writer. Credit: Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You, Alice Munro, Penguin Canada.

More about this book

5 coolest things Alice Munro has told the CBC about her writing

7 years ago
Duration 2:05
Alice Munro turns 85 on July 10, 2016. Over the hears, she's been interviewed by the CBC many times.

Alice Munro amazed by Nobel win

10 years ago
Duration 2:14
'Not under any illusion that it was the only good book around'