A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows.
And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished.
You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time.
It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
– Alice Munro, 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature
from the introduction to her anthology Selected Stories