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Alice Munro First Canadian Woman To Win Nobel Prize for Literature
October 10, 2013
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Alice Munro in 2009 (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

She's already renowned around the world for the brilliance of her writing — and now Canada's Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is the 110th person to win the Prize, and the first female Canadian writer ever to be honoured with a Nobel. 

According to CBC World Report, Munro was asleep when it was announced that she had taken the Prize (it was 4 a.m. in BC). She found out about the honour when her daughter called her, saying "Mom, you won!"

Munro, who recently announced her retirement, is widely regarded as one of the country's greatest short story writers. Her story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain," first published in The New Yorker, formed the basis of Sarah Polley's Oscar-nominated Away From Her.

The 82-year-old Wingham, Ontario writer is highly decorated already, having won the Man Booker International Prize, the O. Henry Award for short fiction, the Giller Prize (twice) and the Governor General's Award (three times).

As well as being a major international honour, the Nobel carries a large financial prize with it. The amount of money fluctuates each year, but as of 2012, a win was worth about $1.3 million. 

The Guardian writes that Munro has been "a perennial contender for the Nobel." Back in September, Ladbrokes put the odds of Munro winning at 12-1, favouring Japanese author Haruki Murakami to win. As of yesterday, though, Munro's odds had changed to 4-1. 

Saul Bellow, who won the Nobel for Literature in 1976, was born in Canada but spent the majority of his life in the U.S.

For more on Alice Munro (and the Nobel Prize for Literature), check out these posts from CBC Books:

Alice Munro is retiring, here are her best books

10 things you need to know about the Nobel Prize for Literature


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