Last updated at 15:21 BST, Friday, 11 October 2013

Canadian wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Summary

11 October 2013

This year's Nobel Prize for Literature has gone to the Canadian writer Alice Munro. She is highly praised for her short stories which focus on life in the part of Canada where she has spent most of her time.

Reporter:

Vincent Dowd

A book

Alice Munro has been writing since the late 60s

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Report

Aged 82, Alice Munro has for several years been mentioned as a potential Nobel laureate. The Swedish Academy, which makes the award, spoke of her "finely-tuned storytelling, characterised by clarity and psychological realism."

Alice Munro has published many books of stories since the late 1960s. And she has often been compared to Anton Chekhov: for many, the greatest of all short-story writers.

She writes almost entirely about society and families and the passing of time in the part of Ottawa which she has known all her life. She is the first Canadian to take the prize: Saul Bellow, who won in 1976, was Canadian-born but became an American citizen.

Alice Munro gave her reaction soon after hearing news of the award, at home.

Alice Munro:
"It is so surprising and so wonderful, and I don't think I knew that I was even on the list or anything until maybe yesterday. My daughter woke me up, she said: 'Mum, you won!' I kind of was dazed about what had I won, but I came to my senses."

Alice Munro will get prize money of 8 million Swedish kroner, that's around 1.2 million US dollars. She is only the 13th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature since it began in 1901.

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Vocabulary

potential

possible or likely

laureate

a person who has been given a high-level award for their ability or achievements (such as a Nobel Prize)

finely-tuned

having made many small changes to make something as good as possible

characterised by

usually including

entirely

completely

Canadian-born

born in Canada; usually the suffix '...-born' is used to show that someone was born in a place but no longer lives there

dazed

unable to think clearly

came to my senses

started thinking clearly (and understood what was happening)

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