Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Alice MunroShe was a favourite to win the prize, but appears not to have been aware of being nominated, no doubt she has been enjoying her retirement from writing fiction announced earlier this year.

Alice Munro is the 13th women to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, news to which according to the Guardian, she is said to have responded “Can this be possible? Really? It seems dreadful there’s only 13 of us.”

Not just a resounding win for a short but growing list of women writers finally being recognised, but a victory for readers and writers of the short story, Munroe’s strength and preference.

Could it be a sign that the short story is making a comeback? It is something I wonder about in one of my very first blog posts entitled Why People Don’t Read Short Stories which is a tribute to the form and a reminder of the joy short story collections can bring.

short stories

Alice Munro

aliceBorn: July 10 1931, Wingham, Ontario, Canada

Educated: 1949-51 University of Western Ontario

Books:     1968 Dance of the Happy Shades

1971 Lives of Girls and Women

1974 Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

1978 Who Do You Think You Are?

1983 The Moons of Jupiter

1986 The Progress of Love

1990 Friend of My Youth

1994 Open Secrets

1996 Selected Stories

1998 The Love of a Good Woman

2001 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

2004 Runaway

2006 The View from Castle Rock

2009 Too Much Happiness

2012 Dear Life

Further Reading:

Feature Article Alice Munro: Riches of a double life, the Master of the contemporary Short Story, Guardian 2003

Orange Prize Shortlist

From the longlist of 20 books, today a shortlist of five has been announced, for the 17th annual Orange Prize for women’s writing.

Set up to acknowledge and celebrate women’s contribution to storytelling the Award celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world. It is awarded to a novel written by a woman in the English language.

Last year the award was won by Téa Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife and previous winners have included Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna, Andrea Levy’s A Small Island and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun, which is currently being made into a film.

This year the shortlist includes:

Esi Edugyan                 ‘Half Blood Blues’           Canadian      2nd Novel

Anne Enright               ‘The Forgotten’                Irish             5th Novel

Georgina Harding      ‘Painter of Silence’             British         3rd Novel

Madeline Miller         ‘The Song of Achilles’         American      1st Novel

Cynthia Ozick              ‘Foreign Bodies’              American      7th Novel

Ann Patchett              ‘State of Wonder’             American      6th Novel

Short Synopses and Biographies can be read here.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 30 May 2012.

I haven’t read any on the list yet, but I have Ann Patchett’s ‘State of Wonder’ on the shelf and I have been eyeing up ‘Half Blood Blues’ for some time.

And you? Have you read any of the titles from either the short or the long list yet, or planning to?