Mint honours writer Alice Munro

Alice Munro recites a passage from The View from Castle Rock at the Royal Canadian Mint’s launch of a silver collector coin celebrating her Nobel Prize in Literature.

Alice Munro recites a passage from The View from Castle Rock at the Royal Canadian Mint’s launch of a silver collector coin celebrating her Nobel Prize in Literature.

Nobel laureate’s work featured on coin

On March 24, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a new $5 coin commemorating Canadian writer Alice Munro’s accomplishment of receiving the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. The event was held at the Greater Victoria Public Library, Victoria, B.C. Born in 1931 in Wingham, Ont., Munro studied writing and journalism at the University of Western Ontario. In 1963 she moved to Victoria, where she and her then husband, James Munro, opened Munro’s Books, the largest independent bookstore in the city. In 1968 she won the first of three Governor General’s Awards. The couple divorced in 1972. In 1976 she married Gerald Fremlin. “The Royal Canadian Mint commemorates Canada’s culture, values and heritage and celebrating Alice Munro’s tremendous body of work and receipt of literature’s most prestigious international award is yet another notable chapter in our Corporation’s history,” said Ian E. Bennett, master of the Royal Canadian Mint. “This coin is a beautiful and meaningful keepsake for readers, writers and collectors alike.” As part of the commemoration, the RCM is donating $10,000 to the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “In 1986, Alice Munro became the first recipient of an annual Writers’ Trust award in recognition of a Canadian writer’s exceptional body of work,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “Nearly three decades later, Ms. Munro’s work is lauded throughout the world, and through this generous gift the fruits of her success will become an investment in future generations of literary icons.” The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization which provides financial support to Canadian writers. The reverse of the .9999 silver coin was designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw and features an ethereal female figure emerging from a pen, a representation of one of the characters from Munro’s short stories. An image of a hand is seen resting against an open book, whose pages are inscribed with a passage from Munro’s The View from Castle Rock, which reads: “And in one of these houses – I can’t remember whose – a magic doorstop, a big mother-of-pearl seashell that I recognized as a messenger from near and far, because I could hold it to my ear – when nobody was there to stop me – and discover the tremendous pounding of my own blood, and of the sea.” Above it, a laurel branch celebrates Munro’s distinction as the first Canadian woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. This coin has a mintage limit of 7,500.

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