Canadian author Alice Munro, 82. FOR WHAT? The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners, called Munro a "master of the contemporary short story." NOTABLE WORKS "Lives of Girls and Women"; "Who Do You Think You Are?"; "The Progress of Love"; "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage"; "Runaway."
LITERARY IMPACT Munro has published more than a dozen collections of short stories since the 1960s, often focusing on the lives of girls and women from the towns and farming communities in her home region of southwestern Ontario. She has been compared to Anton Chekhov for her exploration of the submerged passions and dramas in quiet provincial lives. The Nobel academy hailed "her finely tuned storytelling, which is characterized by clarity and psychological realism."
SIGNIFICANCE Munro is the only Canadian winner of the literature prize, apart from Canada-born U.S. novelist Saul Bellow. She is the first woman to win since Herta Mueller in 2009 and the 13th female literature recipient since the prize was founded in 1901. She is also one of the few literature laureates to write almost exclusively in the short story form.
WHAT SHE SAID "I would really hope that this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something that you played around with until you'd got a novel written."