Canadian author Alice Munro was surprised when she learned she had won the Nobel prize for literature on Thursday, but says receiving the honour is "quite wonderful.”
Described as a "master of the contemporary short story" by the Swedish Academy, Alice is internationally adored for her ability to capture human complexities and create moving, accessible narratives in her work.
The 82-year-old writer told the Canadian Press that she was delighted and “just terribly surprised” by the news.
“I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win,” she said.
Alice is the first Canadian-based writer to receive the prestigious $1.2 million award and only the 13th woman to do so in the 112-year history of Nobel Prizes.
"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 read by her longtime editor, Douglas Gibson, this morning.
Fellow Canadian author Margaret Atwood responded to the victory via Twitter, writing "Hooray! Alice Munro wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper also congratulated Munro on Twitter "on behalf of all Canadians."
In 2009, Alice received the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. She is also a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction.