Alice Munro’s daughter alleges sexual abuse by the late author’s husband

Alice Munro’s daughter alleges sexual abuse by the late author’s husband

Author Margaret Atwood, a fellow Canadian and longtime friend of Munro’s, told the Star that she didn’t know about Skinner’s story until after Fremlin had died and Munro was struggling with dementia.

“The kids probably wondered why she stayed with him,” Atwood said. “All I can add is that she wasn’t very adept at real (practical) life. She wasn’t very interested in cooking or gardening or any of that. She found it an interruption, I expect, rather than a therapy, as some do.”

The owners of Munro’s Books, a prominent independent store in Victoria, British Columbia, issued a statement Monday expressing support for Skinner and calling her account “heartbreaking.” The author co-founded the store in 1963 with first husband and Skinner’s father, James Munro, who continued to run the store after their 1971 divorce. Two years before his 2016 death, he turned the store over to four staff members.

“Along with so many readers and writers, we will need time to absorb this news and the impact it may have on the legacy of Alice Munro, whose work and ties to the store we have previously celebrated,” the store said in a statement issued Monday.

In Skinner’s account, she wrote that she had told her father — with whom she lived for most of the year — of the initial assault, but he told her not to tell her mother and continued to send her to Munro and Fremlin for summers.

“The current store owners have become part of our family’s healing, and are modelling a truly positive response to disclosures like Andrea’s,” reads a statement from Skinner and other family members posted on the store’s website. “We wholly support the owners and staff of Munro’s Books as they chart a new future.”

Although Skinner spent many years estranged from her siblings, they have since reconciled and her family spoke with the Toronto Star in support of Skinner. While they felt the world needed to know of the coverup and that sexual violence must be talked about, the Star reported, Munro’s children believe her acclaimed literary reputation is deserved.

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