Alice Munro's standing as a major contemporary author has long been acknowledged in her native Canada, especially among her fellow writers. Her reputation developed slowly, from small magazines and radio in the fifties, to three Governor General's Awards and regular appearances in The New Yorker. As a short story writer she is working within a critically neglected genre. Yet short fiction displays an intensity of language and experience that is rarely sustainable across longer forms. Drawing on Bakhtinian theory, Ailsa Cox looks at ways in which Munro develops the short story's affinity with the present moment to suggest a fluid and ever-changing reality.