Margaret Atwood. Michael Ondaatje. Carol Shields. Yann Martel. Mavis Gallant. Robertson Davies. And oh so, so many more, but today we celebrate Alice Munro, the newly anointed and well-deserved winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Here is a statement released this morning by her publisher:
“This is so surprising and wonderful. I am dazed by all the attention and affection that has been coming my way this morning. It is such an honour to receive this wonderful recognition from the Nobel Committee and I send them my thanks.
When I began writing there was a very small community of Canadian writers and little attention was paid by the world. Now Canadian writers are read, admired and respected around the globe. I’m so thrilled to be chosen as this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature recipient. I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers. I also hope that this brings further recognition to the short story form."
In announcing the prize, the Royal Swedish Academy described Munro as a “master of the contemporary short story,” In what appears to be a recording of Munro receiving the news, the writer responds: “I’m delighted of course, I’m just terribly surprised. It’s quite wonderful.” She continues to say: “I never thought I would win. It’s just great. At this moment I can’t believe it. It’s really very wonderful.”
Munro is the first woman to win the prize since 2009 and only the 13th woman ever to win this prestigious award. She is also the first Canadian to win, if one does not count the Canadian-born but U.S.-domiciled Saul Bellow.
As Munro notes in her statement, and as the committee stresses, she is widely admired for her mastery of the short story form, a form that has become less popular with readers in contemporary times, and which, one hopes, might gain a resurgence as a result of the award.
Canadians everywhere are rejoicing today, and we salute our northern neighbor and join in celebrating its impressive literary community.
The books of Alice Munro:
Dance of the Happy Shades
Lives of Girls and Women
Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You
The Beggar Maid
The Moons of Jupiter
The Progress of Love
Friend of My Youth
The Love of a Good Woman
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
The View from Castle Rock
Too Much Happiness