Literary Canada buzzes as Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize for Literature
Canada, and particularly Victoria in British Columbia, is a buzz this morning with the news that Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The 82-year-old, famous for writing short stories, is the 110th Nobel laureate in literature and the 13th woman to receive the prize.
Munro last published work was in 2012, a collection called Dear Life, and she is now retired from writing. Her best known collections are Dance of the Happy Shades (her debut from 1968), The Progress of Love from 1986, 2004’s Runaway and Who Do You Think You Are? from 1978.
She has also won the Man Booker International Prize and a host of Canadian book awards, including two Giller Prizes and three Governor General’s Literary Awards.The award is around 8,000,000 Swedish krona (about $1.3 million). She’s in good company as past winners include George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Hesse and T.S. Eliot. Chinese writer Mo Yan won last year.
Munro has only written one novel, Lives of Girls and Women, and she has described that decision to try the longer format as a mistake.
In Canada, she does not have the same high profile as Margaret Atwood, who is rarely absent from the headlines, but she is very much viewed as an iconic writer. Born in 1931, Munro has a lasting legacy in Victoria, B.C. thanks to the bookshop she founded here with her first husband, Jim. Munro’s is quite simply one of the finest bookstores on the North American west coast and every booklover in Victoria has spent many hours browsing its shelves. I’m sure the staff will be beaming when they open up the store in a few minutes.
Munro’s first marriage ended in divorce and she moved to Ontario, and eventually married Gerald Fremlin.
Apparently, Munro is in Victoria now and the man on the radio told me she was woken at 4am with the news from Stockholm.
Short Story Collections
Dance of the Happy Shades – 1968
Lives of Girls and Women – 1971
Who Do You Think You Are? – 1978
The Moons of Jupiter – 1982
The Progress of Love – 1986
Friend of My Youth – 1990
Open Secrets – 1994
The Love of a Good Woman – 1998
Runaway – 2004
The View from Castle Rock – 2006
Too Much Happiness – 2009
Dear Life – 2012
Selected Stories – 1996
No Love Lost – 2003
Vintage Munro – 2004
New Selected Stories – 2011