The inside of a shell: Alice Munro's Dance of the Happy Shades
6-7 November 2014
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
The Canadian writer Alice Munro is recognized as one of the world’s finest short story writers. She was awarded the third Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. This worldwide recognition of her career as a short story writer calls for a backward glance at her very first collection of short stories, Dance of the Happy Shades, composed of fifteen stories written between 1953 and 1967. Some forty-five years after the publication of this first volume, specialists of her work (from France, Great-Britain, the United States, Canada, Russia, Italy and Sweden) have been asked to focus on this early work in order to examine the first steps of a great writer and offer new critical perspectives on a début collection that may already foreshadow the patterns and themes of later stories. Contributors adopted a variety of approaches (from the fields of narratology, linguistics, psychoanalysis, eco-criticism, genetic criticism, gender studies…) to illuminate the main themes, narrative strategies, literary traditions, modes of writing and generic traits of the stories in Dance of the Happy Shades.
All papers were
delivered in English. Papers are in the process of being peer-reviewed for publication at Cambridge Scholars Publishing (publication is due in the Spring of 2015).