Celebrated Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro, who announced her retirement earlier this year, has won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first Canadian-based writer to earn the honour.
Munro, 82, is the 13th woman to win the prize. She told the Globe and Mail recently that she intended on retiring after the publication of Dark Life, her 14th story collection. She won a Trillium Book Award for the piece in June.
During her extensive career, Munro has been a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize and has won the Man Booker International Prize, two Scotiabank Giller Prizes, three Governor General's Literary Awards and the American National Book Critics Circle Award, to name a few.
[ Related: Your guide to the 2013 Nobel Prize ]
Munro told the Canadian Press that it was "quite wonderful" to receive the award. "I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win," she told the news agency. Typical Canadian humility.
She began writing in her teens and published her first book in 1968. Dance of the Happy Shades, a collection of short stories, garnered praise in Canada. Here extensive bibliography includes:
- Who Do You Think You Are? (1978)
- The Moons of Jupiter (1982)
- Runaway (2004)
- Too Much Happiness (2009)
Munro is acclaimed for her finely tuned storytelling, which is characterized by clarity and psychological realism. Some critics consider her a Canadian Chekhov. Her stories are often set in small town environments, where the struggle for a socially acceptable existence often results in strained relationships and moral conflicts – problems that stem from generational differences and colliding life ambitions. Her texts often feature depictions of everyday but decisive events, epiphanies of a kind, that illuminate the surrounding story and let existential questions appear in a flash of lightning.
Her victory is already earning praise inside and outside of Canada.
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro, "master of the short story" hopes her Nobel Prize win will bring "more attention to Cdn writing" says her editor. Class. — Metro Morning (@metromorning) October 10, 2013
"Ms. Munro has, over the course of her long career, established herself as one of the world's greatest living authors and a tremendous source of pride and inspiration for this province," Wynne said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper even took the opportunity to pump the tires on Canada's writing community at large.
"Canadians are enormously proud of this remarkable accomplishment, which is the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant writing," Harper stated.
“Ms. Munro is a giant in Canadian literature and this Nobel Prize further solidifies Canada’s place among the ranks of countries with the best writers in the world."
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