Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Alice MunroShe was a favourite to win the prize, but appears not to have been aware of being nominated, no doubt she has been enjoying her retirement from writing fiction announced earlier this year.

Alice Munro is the 13th women to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, news to which according to the Guardian, she is said to have responded “Can this be possible? Really? It seems dreadful there’s only 13 of us.”

Not just a resounding win for a short but growing list of women writers finally being recognised, but a victory for readers and writers of the short story, Munroe’s strength and preference.

Could it be a sign that the short story is making a comeback? It is something I wonder about in one of my very first blog posts entitled Why People Don’t Read Short Stories which is a tribute to the form and a reminder of the joy short story collections can bring.

short stories

Alice Munro

aliceBorn: July 10 1931, Wingham, Ontario, Canada

Educated: 1949-51 University of Western Ontario

Books:     1968 Dance of the Happy Shades

1971 Lives of Girls and Women

1974 Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

1978 Who Do You Think You Are?

1983 The Moons of Jupiter

1986 The Progress of Love

1990 Friend of My Youth

1994 Open Secrets

1996 Selected Stories

1998 The Love of a Good Woman

2001 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

2004 Runaway

2006 The View from Castle Rock

2009 Too Much Happiness

2012 Dear Life

Further Reading:

Feature Article Alice Munro: Riches of a double life, the Master of the contemporary Short Story, Guardian 2003

34 thoughts on “Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize for Literature

  1. This is really wonderful news, Claire! She is one of the greats and this is really a well deserved honour. And it will give a big fillip to the short story. Maybe there will be more new writers who write just short stories, instead of using it as a stepping stone to write a novel. One of my friends is a big fan of Alice Munro and he is going to be thrilled.


  2. I wrote about Alice Munro’s Dear Life three weeks ago on my blog. And I wrote about short stories coming back a year ago.
    I love the way she writes her stories.


  3. Isn’t it funny how news like this can gladden the heart and put a spring in ones step? I heard last night on the news and immediately felt happy! Seems like I’m not the only one! 🙂 Now where did I leave that selection of Ms Munro’s short stories? Excuse me while I settle down in the big easy chair for a luxurious day of reading…….


    • Don’t you just love it when good news sparks inspiration and delight into ones shelves that have lain there so quietly while our attention was elsewhere. I think Alice Munro volumes are going to raise a few dust mites today as many people do just the same and bring her to the top of the pile! Have a lovely reading day Edith, so which collection do you have on the shelf then?


  4. I was so delighted to see this news. I have her collected short stories out of the library at the moment. And I found out we share a birthday! Thank you very much for your kind words tonight on my blog. I look forward to reading yours too.


    • Which collection are you reading? And a birthday omen, wow, make sure you do something in commemoration of that wonderful coincidence – like sending out your manuscript and invoking the spirit of a great short story writer, what an inspiration, you were clearly already drawn towards her for a reason 🙂

      I look forward to reading more of your posts too and seeing the wonderful photos and painted images, they are a little nostalgic for me, especially the pics around Raglan, I spent many years of teenagehood living in Te Akau, just across the harbour. 🙂 Words and images of that west coast ocean run deep.


      • Wow, you are along way from home. I’ve wanted to drive around to Te Akau for a long time but haven’t got there. My mother’s family are from Raglan and they used to boat over to what they called “Bird’s Bay” for picnics. What an amazing place to live, did it feel isolating to be there as a teenager?
        I’m reading “Dear Life.” Yes I’m quite chuffed about our birthday!


        • There is no secondary school or bus service to one nearby, so like everyone else, I went to boarding school, I was 13 or 14 when we moved there (from Port Waikato) so both those factors made it quite isolating, but the community is vibrant and there were always things going on to keep us amused. I don’t know Bird Bay, but I remember a place people went for New Year’s called ‘Deep Water’.

          Enjoy ‘Dear Life’, I’m about to start on that great tome, The Luminaries, hoping it might win on the 15th, but being short-listed is a brilliant achievement.


  5. Thanks for the complete list of her works. I have read only Dear Life and it was stellar. I must read more of her stories.

    How awful that she is only the 13th woman to win, but also what an honor for her


    • I think Dear Life may be the collection I will choose to read, or at least add to my growing collection of short stories, as I don’t usually read short story collections cover to cover, but read from different collections by different authors at the same time, but I don’t actually have any Alice Munro on the shelf, the only one I have read was a library book, I must remedy that!


  6. I have been meaning to read some Alice Munro for the longest time and have Runaway sitting on my “to read” shelf. Well I guess it’s time to read some of her books now that she has won a Novel prize. Do you have a recommendation for which one to start with?


  7. Thanks for this informative post. It’s fantastic that Alice Munro won and now we have a Nobel Laureate in Literature of our very own. I’ve only read a few of her stories, albeit I have a couple of her collections at home. Today, I’ve dug them out and have been catching up. 😉


      • Right now, I’ve Runaway and Away From Her (with a movie-tie-in cover). I also have The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories, the first story being The View From Castle Rock. I couldn’t find my copy of Moons of Jupiter, which I’ve had since my university days… and that’s a long, long time ago. 😉


  8. I’ve never read any of her books but I am happy she won this awesome award. Even though the number is not much, I think it is a victory for all women! Congratulations to her! and to us women all over the world!:-)


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