Literary talent: We (meaning Canadian women) haz it…
Canadian author Alice Munro has won the prestigious Nobel Prize for literature.
The Swedish Academy announced the decision Thursday, calling the 82-year-old author from Wingham, Ont., a “master of the contemporary short story.”
She is the first Canadian-based writer, and the 13th woman to receive the award.
Speaking to CTV’s Canada AM, Munro’s publisher Doug Gibson read a statement on her behalf.
“I am amazed and very grateful. I am a particularly glad that winning this award will please so many Canadians. I’m happy that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing,” Munro said in the statement.
Gibson said the decorated author, who won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, is adored by fans worldwide for her short stories about “ordinary Canadian people.”
“Here we have a world prize being won by someone who writes about housewives in Vancouver, booksellers in Victoria, bean farmers in Huron County and accountants and teachers and librarians –ordinary Canadian people, and she turns it into magic,” he said.
Gibson said that when he first started working with Munro in 1976, she was under “terrible pressure” to “get serious” and write a novel.
“I said ‘Alice, they’re all wrong. You’re a short story writer… you’re a sprinter, not a marathon runner, so keep writing short stories,'” he said, adding that he offered to continue publishing any of her short story collections.
“That was 1976 and it’s worked out not too badly.”
BTW, Alice Munro is also a mighty fine novelist, when she gets the urge to be. Her Lives of Girls and Women is a gem, and wholeheartedly recommended reading around here. A worthier Canadian candidate I could not think of, in any case, and I am over the moon for her.
Meanwhile, David Gilmour, that toughener of young stomachs, that eminent apostle of short fiction and the serious heterosexual middle-aged male libido at U of T, did not make the Giller shortlist. He could not be reached for comment.