Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alice Munro Out Of Giller Running, But Still Wants Those Pizza Pizza Coupons

The Star ran a story re: Alice Munro's hand-slap of the '09 Giller nominations. Alice wants to step aside, let other writers have a shot at taking home the cash, the award, and the little rag dolls that Margaret Atwood makes every year and hands out to nominees.

That's admirable, and I salute Alice for her gesture. She doesn't need the money; she has all the fame she can handle; her mantle is full.

But what wasn't reported in the Star's story was Munro's surreptitious acceptance of the book of Pizza Pizza coupons that comes with a Giller nomination. Pizza Pizza, which has sponsored the CanLit ceremony since its inception, has made a tradition of handing out the equivalent of a year's worth of Sundays of large pizzas. The idea is that working writers shouldn't have to worry about cooking dinner; Pizza Pizza delivers, and the fifty-two coupons are good for dipping sauce, a bottle of Coke, and chicken fingers. That's a family dinner.

I can understand why and how so few people know about the Pizza Pizza gesture. When you see that big cash prize and that black-tie dinner, the last thing you're going to drawn to is a vinyl tarp declaring the birth of the jalapeno pizza roll.

So a friend who works with the Giller administration tells me that while Munro effectively resigned from Giller consideration, she neglected to return the pizza coupons. A little off, but it doesn't surprise me. What's interesting is that the coupons don't include a tip. And all reports are that Munro doesn't tip. A famous CanLit author-at-large story has Munro at the Keg eating a New York strip steak and leaving $25.05 on a $25 cheque.

If only I could be the delivery guy who knocks on that Rosedale door.

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