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Alice Munro says she's surprised to win Nobel in literature

Thursday - 10/10/2013, 12:10pm  ET

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) -- Alice Munro says she knew she was in the running for the Nobel Prize in literature -- but never thought she would win.

Today, the Canadian short-story master was named the winner of the $1.2 million prize.

Her stories capture the everyday lives of men and women in rural Canada -- reflecting a wide range of experiences and personalities without passing judgment on her characters. Munro has been described as a contemporary Chekhov for her warmth, insight and compassion. Her work consists almost entirely of short stories. Her only novel, "Lives of Girls and Women," is itself often described as a collection of linked stories.

Munro told the Canadian broadcaster CBC that it "just seems impossible" to win the Nobel Prize. She said, "It seems so splendid a thing to happen that I can't describe it."

Munro is beloved among her peers, and is equally admired by critics. She's a three-time winner of Canada's highest literary honor, and she won a National Book Critics Circle prize for "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage."

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171-a-15-(Peter Englund (EHNG'-luhn), permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, in AP interview)-"almost to perfection"-Peter Englund of the Swedish Academny says Nobel Prize-winner Alice Munro is a truly masterful short story writer. (10 Oct 2013)

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172-a-13-(Peter Englund (EHNG'-luhn), permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, in AP interview)-"on her own"-Peter Englund of the Swedish Academny feels the only comparable short story writer would be the great 19th-century Russian, Anton Chekhov. (10 Oct 2013)

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144-a-10-(Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, making the announcement of this year's Nobel Prize for literature)-"contemporary short story"-Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy Peter Englund announces that writer Alice Munro of Canada is the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in literature. (10 Oct 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: Alice Munro headshot, Canadian Author and winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature, Canadian Consulate's residence, New York graphic, element on gray (10 Oct 2013)

APPHOTO LON103: FILE - This June 25, 2009 file photo shows Canadian Author Alice Munro at a press conference at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Munro has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday Oct. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file) (25 Jun 2009)

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