A heavily honored writer who has been called the "master of the contemporary short story" is the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Reuters reports that the prize was awarded to Canadian writer Alice Munro.
Munro also is the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, and is a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for fiction.
Her work has been featured in countless publications including The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. Among her many collections of short stories have been "Dance of the Happy Shades" (1968), "Lives of Girls and Women" (1971) and "The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose" (1978).
"’Some critics consider her a Canadian Chekhov,’ the Swedish Academy said, comparing her to the 19th-century Russian short story writer in a statement on its website," Reuters reports. "Munro, reached by CBC Television in Victoria, British Columbia, said she hoped the award ‘would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you get a novel written.’"
The report adds: "The 82-year-old, who revealed in 2009 that she had undergone coronary bypass surgery and been treated for cancer, said however that she did not think winning the prize would change her decision announced early this year to stop writing."
Munro said in response to the Nobel Prize, which is worth $1.25 million: "You know, I was always thrilled at whatever came along — like if I got published, I was thrilled. I still am, in a way."
She added: "It just seems impossible. It seems so splendid a thing to happen, I can’t describe it. It’s more than I can say."