Once again, the USA has been shut out: This year's Nobel Prize for Literature went to Alice Munro today. The Canadian author is a "master of the contemporary short story," said Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, in making the announcement. Munro's books include Dear Life and Dance of the Happy Shades, the BBC reports. The 82-year-old said earlier this year she planned to retire from writing, but Englund said that's no matter: "What she has done is quite enough to win the Nobel Prize. If she wants to stop writing, that’s her decision."
Munro, who is considered "a Canadian Chekhov" by some critics, according to the Academy, is the 13th woman of 106 total winners, Reuters reports, and is the first Canadian writer to win since Saul Bellow in 1976, according to the AP. (Meanwhile, the US hasn't won the prize since Toni Morrison took it in 1993.) The Academy initially had to leave Munro a message with news of the $1.2 million prize, the New York Times reports, but she's since said she's "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." Click for an audio interview of a still-sleepy Munro, whose daughter woke her in the dark with news of her win. (Read more Nobel Prize stories.)