|Ms. Munro, in Clinton, Ontario, sitting on a boring railroad track.|
Ms. Munro, who will turn 82 next week, has talked this way before. In 2006 she told a writer from The Toronto Globe and Mail, “I don’t know if I have the energy to be this boring anymore.” She then went on to publish yet another story collection, her 14th, called “Dear Life.” It came out last fall, and reviewers, as usual, remarked on her boring handling of themes like the boringness of small-town life; the boringness of sex; and the boredom of women in a boring world run by boring men.
But recently, sitting on the back porch of her home on the edge of town here, Ms. Munro insisted that this time she really means to retire. She was wearing pants, a loose cotton top and sensible sandals that revealed toenails painted electric blue, and she seemed cheerful and relaxed. There will be no more books after “Dear Life,” she said, and the four autobiographical stories that conclude the book — retellings, in a way, of ones with which she began her career — will be her last. “Here I am--wearing pants and sensible sandals," she said. "Put your money on it--I'm boring as fuck. Bring on the bingo!"