Canadian writer Alice Munro, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The New York Times reported on Thursday that Munro is the first winner of the $1.2 million prize to be fully identified with Canada. Saul Bellow won in 1976, and although he was born in Chicago, Bellow moved to the United States as a young child and is more closely associated with Chicago than Canada.
The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the most prestigious and lucrative awards in the world, given to writers to recognize a lifetime of work. Munro's win of the Nobel Prize is also unique as she is a writer of short stories. It is rare that short story authors win the Nobel Prize, but Munro has long been an international ambassador for the short story and her win proves that the standard narrative arc of novels can be found in stories that are only 30 to 40 pages, too. At the award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, Munro was praised as the "master of the contemporary short story." The 82-year-old author is also the 13th woman to win the prize.
Critics and peers of Munro have praised her in every way possible, lauding her use and precision of language, the logic of her storytelling, and the intimacy of human behavior found in her stories. Munro's stories are usually set in her home province of Ontario and have won her critical acclaim in the past, including the Book Critics Circle prize in 1998, in addition to making her a three-time winner of Canada's highest literary honour, the Governor General's prize.