Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, 82, was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, October 10. Munro is the 13th woman to receive the literature prize.
The prize committee compared the 82-year-old author to Anton Chekhov, the 19th century Russian who is considered one of the greatest short story writers in history.
She’s the first Canadian-based writer to win the literature award. Saul Bellow, who won it in 1976, was born in Quebec but moved to the United States as a child and is regarded as a U.S. author.
Munro, who lives in the southwestern Ontario town of Clinton, was born near there in Wingham, where her father was a fox farmer and her mother was a teacher.
She started writing stories in her teen years and studied journalism and English at the University of Western Ontario.
Munro took a breather from her studies when she got married in 1951. She and her husband moved to Victoria, British Columbia, and opened a bookstore.
Since the 1960s, Munro has published more than a dozen collections of short stories, many of which take place in her native southwest Ontario.
Her writing has brought her several awards. She won The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the National Book Critics Circle prize for Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, and is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s prize.
Other notable books include Lives of Girls and Women, Who Do You Think You Are, The Progress of Love and Runaway.
In 1980, The Beggar Maid was shortlisted for the annual Booker Prize for Fiction and her stories frequently appear in publications such as the New Yorker and the Paris Review.
Several of her stories have also been adapted for the screen, including The Bear Came Over the Mountain, which became Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent.
Munro revealed earlier this year that her latest book, Dear Life, published in 2012, would be her last.
Munro will be presented with her latest award at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, who established the prize.