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Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize for Literature [UPDATED]

Alice Munro has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first Canadian (and only the 13th woman) to win one of the world’s top literary accolades in the prize’s 113-year history.

In a statement provided by Munro’s publisher Penguin Random House Canada, she is quoted as saying: “I am amazed, and very grateful…. I’m particularly glad that winning this award will please so many Canadians. I’m happy, too, that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing.”

A subsequent statement from Munro, also provided by her publisher, reads in full:

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.

Munro is the author most recently of the short-story collection Dear Life (McClelland & Stewart), which she had previously declared would be her last book. Born in Wingham, Ontario, she continues to live for part of the year in Southern Ontario, where many of her stories are set.

In a phone interview with the Nobel committee, Munro indicated that, in fact, there may be more stories to come. “I’ve been writing and publishing since I was about 20,” she said. “That’s a long time to be working, and I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time to take it easy.’ But this may change my mind.”

Munro has long been considered in the running for the Nobel. In her distinguished career she has also received the Man Booker International Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize (twice), and the Governor General’s Literary Award (three times).

Munro is published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Her work is published in paperback by Penguin Canada, which released a paperback edition of Dear Life this week.

In a brief statement, the Swedish Academy in charge of the Nobel noted simply that Munro is a “master of the contemporary short story.” A tweet from the academy claims that they informed Munro of her win via phone message.

The prize is estimated to be worth roughly $1.3 million.