Alice Munro reading cancelled amid health concerns

A hotly anticipated Alice Munro appearance at Toronto's International Festival of Authors has been cancelled over health concerns for the celebrated Canadian writer.
Writer Alice Munro is seen attending the opening night of the International Festival of Authors in Toronto in 2009. Her 2012 appearance at IFOA has been cancelled over health concerns. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

A hotly anticipated reading and onstage interview with celebrated Canadian writer Alice Munro at Toronto’s upcoming International Festival of Authors has been cancelled.

The IFOA had planned an Oct. 19 appearance and reading from Munro's latest collection, Dear Life, until her long-time friend and editor Douglas Gibson notified the festival that she is too frail to attend.  

Gibson was to have interviewed Munro about her writing at the event.

"Alice is 81 years old now, and her health is frail, making it impossible for her to attend this IFOA event, although she would very much like to be able to do so," Gibson told festival officials.

The IFOA expressed disappointment, but agreed it was best to cancel the event. Munro’s appearances have been popular highlights of past editions.

One of Canada’s most beloved writers, Munro is the author of Runaway, The View From Castle Rock, Too Much Happiness and  Lives of Girls and Women. A two-time winner of the Giller Prize and 2009 winner of the Man Booker International Prize, her writing is notable for its emotional and literary depth. 

IFOA says it will contact audience members who have purchased tickets to the Oct. 19 event.