She is a three-time National Magazine Award winner for fiction, including the first-ever such prize awarded back in 1977. She has won three Governor General’s Literary Awards, two Giller Prizes, and the Man Booker International Prize. Widely regarded as one of the greatest short-story writers the English language has ever known, at last Alice Munro has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The native of Wingham, Ontario, published her first collection of short stories, Dance of the Happy Shades, in 1968, and promptly won the Governor General’s Literary Award. In 1977, she won her first of three National Magazine Awards, for her story “Accident” originally published in Toronto Life and later with her fifth collection, The Moons of Jupiter (1982).
“Mrs. Cross and Mrs. Kidd,” published in the Tamarack Review, won her a second National Magazine Award for fiction in 1982.
And her story “Jakarta,” published in Saturday Night in 1998, won Ms. Munro a third National Magazine Award. Jakarta later appeared in the collection The Love of a Good Woman, which won the Giller Prize that year.
Now 82 and officially retired, Ms. Munro had been considered one of the favourites for the prestigious award, though only twelve women before her, in the Nobel Prize’s 113-year history, had won.
Using an epithet often ascribed to her, the Swedish Academy in announcing its decision referred to Ms. Munro as the “master of the contemporary short story.”
Upon learning of her win, she told the CBC, “I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.”