Why Eleanor Wachtel would bring My Best Stories by Alice Munro to a desert island

"Whatever stage of my life I was reading her, it felt like [Munro] was always speaking directly to me," says the Writers & Company host.
In 2004, Eleanor Wachtel was named to the Order of Canada, and in 2014 she was promoted from Member to Officer. (CBC/Penguin Canada)

July 1, 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation in Canada. CBC Books is creating the Great Canadian Reading List — a list of 150 books curated by you. 

Eleanor Wachtel, host CBC Radio's Writers & Company, is adding My Best Stories by Alice Munro to the list.

"When I was asked not long ago what book I would take to a desert island, I chose My Best Stories by Alice Munro. When you finish these stories, you want to go back and read them all over again. Munro's been writing for almost 50 years and she's won virtually every award you can win in Canada and internationally. There's a way she connects to people and the intimacy with which she writes that I think readers respond to.

"Whatever stage of my life I was reading her, it felt like she was always speaking directly to me. She writes with a complexity that I've described as 3D chess. Sometimes a single story has the density of a novel."

Eleanor Wachtel is the host of CBC Radio's Writers & Company, where she has entertained the country for over 25 years and interviewed the biggest names in literature. She has published several books, including a recent collection of interviews called The Best of Writers & Company.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?