Canadian Mint honors Alice Munro with silver $5 coin


Alice Munro

Photo by The Canadian Press/Chad Hipolito

Canadian short story writer Alice Munro will be the subject of a commemorative coin to be offered by the Canadian Mint starting April 1. Munro, 82, was the first Canadian woman to win the Nobel Prize when she was selected last November. She was present to unveil the design at a ceremony held at the Victoria Public Library on March 24.

“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, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “This coin is a beautiful and meaningful keepsake for readers, writers and collectors alike.”

The Mint further honored Munro by donating $10,000 to the Writers’ Trust of Canada to support the writing community.

The front of the coin features an image of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse side features a book open to an excerpt from Munro’s story, “The Messenger” from her collection, The View from Castle Rock. A female figure emerges from a pen onto the book. The excerpt, chosen by Munro, 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.”

The coin will be minted in a limited run of 7,500 and will be available starting April 1. It can be ordered by calling 1-800-267-1871 (for Canadians), 1-800-268-6468 (for Americans), or online at http://www.mint.ca. The cost is $69.95 Canadian (about $62.65 US).

“We were all so proud and pleased when [Munro] won the Nobel Prize, and having her have this coin unveiled today is another beautiful acknowledgment of what she means to Canadian literature,” Mary Osborne, executive director of the writers’ trust, told Canadian television in an interview.

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