Alice Munro of Canada has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. It was announced today by Peter Englund, who is the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. Munro is 82 and has recently announced that her most recent collection, Dear Life, which is her 14th short story collection, will be her last. She is a short story writer and has previously been the recipient of many awards acknowledging her work, such as the Man Booker International Prize in 2009.
Munro is the 13th woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and is the second Canadian to do so. Saul Bellow, a Canadian-born American writer, was the first to do so in 1976. Englund described Munro as a, “master of the contemporary short story.”
She’s even been described as “Canada’s Chekhov” due to her ability to get to the root of the human spirit in her writings.
In the announcement, Englund shared that they usually notify recipients by calling them. Munro was unable to be reached so he shared that they ended up leaving a voicemail on her phone notifying her of her winning the prestigious award. Munro had been away visiting her daughter and it was her who woke her mother letting her know that she had won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
“I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win,” admitted Munro in a telephone interview to the Canadian Press. In a separate interview, on Dear Life being her last book, Munro said, “It’s nice to go out with a bang.” Fortunately, if Dear Life is indeed her last work, Munro will be heading out with a bigger bang than expected; a bang that will forever be recognized.
Munro will also receive prize money which amounts to $1.2 million U.S. dollars.
She now joins other female Nobel Laureates in Literature such as Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer and Nelly Sachs among a few others.
“For years and years I thought that stories were just practice, till I got time to write a novel,” said Munro in a 2012 interview with the New Yorker. “Then I found that they were all I could do, and so I faced that.”
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