Shelf AwarenessThe 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Canadian author Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story," according to the citation read by Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy.
In an interview after the announcement, Englund said, "I think no one has better deconstructed the central myth of modern romantic love; not just saying it means this or means that, but showing that people can feel very, very different things about it.... She is a fantastic portrayer of human beings."
Regarding the 82-year-old Munro's recently announced retirement from the writing life, Englund said, "What she has done is quite enough to get a Nobel Prize. If she wants to stop, that's her own decision."
The New York Times reported that although "winners are traditionally notified by phone in the hour before the announcement, the Swedish Academy was unable to locate Ms. Munro, according to the Twitter account for the Nobel Prize. It left a phone message instead."
Munro's books include Dear Life; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; The View from Castle Rock; Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You; Selected Stories; Too Much Happiness; The Love of a Good Woman; Lives of Girls and Women (all published by Vintage) and more.
The Guardian reported yesterday that "short story supremo" Munro had made "an eleventh-hour leap to become second favorite" at 4-1 to win this year's Nobel, placing her just behind Haruki Murakami and ahead of Svetlana Alexievich, Joyce Carol Oates and Peter Nadas.