Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize For Literature
Canada's Alice Munro has been announced as the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The jury honoured Munro - known for her short stories on the frailties of the human condition - as "master of the contemporary short story".
The 82-year-old pipped the bookies' favourites - Norwegian Wood author Haruki Murakami and Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexeivich - to the prize.
Moments after the award was announced, Nobel Prize organisers said they had been unable to contact Munro about her win and had left her a phone message.
Munro told Canada's CBC radio she had been woken at her home in Ontario by a phone call from her daughter, who was eager to tell her she had won the prestigious prize.
She told the station: "I had forgotten all about this. But it is wonderful.
"I didn't know I was on a list until yesterday. I'm dazed ... there will now be more thought about Canadian writers."
When told she was only the 13th female winner in the award's 112-year history, she said: "Can this be possible? It seems dreadful there's only 13 of us."
She is the first Canadian writer to receive the prestigious £750,000 award since Saul Bellow, who won in 1976.
Munro's writing has brought her numerous awards including a National Book Critics Circle prize for Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, the International Booker and Canada's highest literary honour, the Governor General's Prize, on three occasions.
Some of her stories have been adapted for the big screen, including The Bear Came Over The Mountain, which earned Julie Christie a 2008 Oscar nomination for her performance in Away From Her.
And Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig starred alongside Hailee Steinfeld, Guy Pearce and Nick Nolte in this year's box office hit Hateship Loveship.
Often compared with Anton Chekhov, Munro has attained near-canonical status as a thorough, but forgiving, documenter of the human spirit.
Munro's work often hinges on the difference between her early years in Wingham, a conservative Canadian town west of Toronto, and her life after the social revolution of the 1960s.
Last year's Nobel literature award went to Mo Yan of China.