Jan 24, 2014

By Scott Walker

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A large crowd of book-lovers packed New York’s Symphony Space lat night to hear two iconic Canadian authors. Neither one was actually there. But no one was disappointed.

Margaret Atwood was scheduled to be at Symphony Space to interview Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro via the internet. Munro is at her home in Victoria.

It turns out Atwood was unable to make the trip, either. A blizzard in New York forced the cancellation of her flight. So Atwood and Munro were both present via the internet, while a rapt audience watched a large screen in New York.

Atwood asked Munro several questions from the audience, including why many of the characters in her stories are unpleasant. Both authors agreed that they have never read a book of any quality that didn’t contain complicated characters.

Montreal-born Adam Gopnik is a staff writer for the New Yorker. He told the audience that, when he began dating actress Holly Hunter, she told him Munro was her favourite author. He decided to read her stories to make points with Hunter, and ended up becoming a fan. The two are now married, and Holly Hunter was there to read Munro’s The Moons of Jupiter.


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