Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alice Munro Wins Nobel for Literature

“master of the contemporary short story”

O Canada! The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013 has been awarded to the Canadian author Alice Munro.

Primarily known for her short stories, Munro began writing as a teenager and soon thereafter her short stories began appearing in Canadian periodicals.

Her first collection of short stories – Dance of the Happy Shades – was published in 1968. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001) became the basis of Sarah Polley's 2006 Oscar-nominated film Away from Her.

In announcing her win the Nobel committee praised Munroe "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."

Munro is the first Canadian winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the thirteenth woman to have won the award  joining the likes of: Selma Lagerlöf (1909); Pearl Buck (1938); Toni Morrison (1993) and; Doris Lessing (2007).

Along with the 2013 Nobel the octogenarian Munro is a three time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction and the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. Her most recent collection is Dear Life (2012).