Short story great Alice Munro says she is ‘probably’ done writing

NEW YORK: Less than a year after Philip Roth announced he had stopped writing books, another literary great may be retiring: Alice Munro.

The 81-year-old Canadian author, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest short story writers, told Canada’s National Post during a recent interview that she was “probably not going to write anymore.” Munro made the comments after receiving the Trillium Book Award for the story collection “Dear Life.”

“Not that I didn’t love writing,” she said, “but I think you do get to a stage where you sort of think about your life in a different way. And perhaps, when you’re my age, you don’t wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be. It’s like, at the wrong end of life, sort of becoming very sociable.”

Roth, 80, made similar comments last year in explaining his decision to quit. The list of voluntary literary retirees is tiny, with the vast majority of authors continuing for as long as health permits.

Fiction editor Deborah Treisman of The New Yorker, where Munro has often been published, told The Associated Press on Thursday that she has not received any new material from Munro since last year. Munro’s most recent story in the magazine, “Amundsen,” appeared in August 2012. “Dear Life” was published in the fall.

Munro, whose other books include “Open Secrets” and “Friend of My Youth,” has said before that she was quitting, only to resume writing. During a brief interview posted last fall on www.newyorker.com , she acknowledged her previous statements.

“I do stop — for some strange notion of being ‘more normal,’ taking things easy. Then some poking idea comes,” she said. “This time, I think it’s for real. I’m 81, losing names or words in a commonplace way.”