Canadian short story writer Alice Munro has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 82, being hailed by the Swedish Academy as a “master of the short story collection.” She is the 13th woman to win the prize.
Munro, who is seen by many as a modern-day Chekhov, is known in the literary community for her deep, piercing insight into the everyday lives and dramas in the “ordinary” communities in Ontario. Prior to this, Munro won a National Book Critics Circle prize for her collection “The Love of a Good Woman,” and is a three-time winner of Canada’s most coveted literary honor, the Governor General’s prize. Munro told Canadian broadcast CBC that she was “surprised” and “delighted” about the news, saying, “It just seems impossible. It seems so splendid a thing to happen that I can’t describe it. It’s more than I can say.”
The Nobel prize is one of the (if not the) most prestigious awards given in literature, and is given to a writer for his or her body of work, as opposed to just one piece. The winner also receives approximately $1.2 million. This may be the final highlight for Munro, as earlier this year she told a writer at The Globe and Mail that she planned to retire from writing after releasing her fourteenth collection, “Dear Life.” Doesn’t seem like all that bad of a note to retire on, does it?
Congratulations Alice Munro!