Alice Munro, short story writer, Nobel Prize-winning author, dead at 92

Alice Munro

Alice Munro, a Canadian author who was a master of short stories and won a Nobel Prize for literature, died Monday. She was 93.

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Munro died at a nursing home in Port Hope, Ontario, The New York Times reported.

A spokesperson for her publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, confirmed the author’s death. Munro’s health had been in decline since at least 2009, when she said she had heart bypass surgery and was undergoing cancer treatment, according to the newspaper.

“Alice Munro is a national treasure -- a writer of enormous depth, empathy, and humanity whose work is read, admired, and cherished by readers throughout Canada and around the world,” Kristin Cochrane, the CEO of Penguin Random House Canada, said in a statement, according to the BBC.

Cynthia Ozick, an American short story writer, called Munro “our Chekhov,” the Times reported.

Munro published more than a dozen collections of short stories. During the 1950s and 1960s, her stories were broadcast on the CBC and were published in several Canadian periodicals, the BBC reported.

She was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2013 when she was 82, according to the Times. The Swedish Academy cited her 14 collections of stories and called her “a master of the contemporary short story,” the newspaper reported.

Her first collection of stories, “Dance of the Happy Shades,” was published in 1968 and won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award, the Times reported. She would win two more Governor General’s awards -- for “Who Do You Think You Are?” in 1978 and “The Progress of Love” in 1986.

Her fame moved south to the United States in 1977 when her stories were published in The New Yorker magazine, according to the newspaper.

Alice Ann Laidlaw was born on July 10, 1931, in the village of Wingham, Ontario, near Lake Huron, the Times reported. She studied at the University of Western Ontario for two years before moving to Vancouver in 1951 with her first husband, James Munro, according to The Guardian.

The couple had two children -- a third died at birth -- and Munro called herself a “B-minus housewife,” the newspaper reported. She began to write short stories when her daughters slept, deciding to write short stories because it was too difficult to concentrate for extended periods.

The couple moved to Victoria in 1963, had a third daughter and founded a bookstore, Munro’s, the Times reported. After their marriage ended in 1973, she returned to Ontario.

In 1963, Ms. Munro and her husband moved to Victoria, where she helped him found a bookstore, Munro’s, and gave birth to another daughter. The marriage ended in 1973, and she moved back to Ontario.

In 1998, Munro won the Giller Prize for “The Love of a Good Woman,” and won again six years later for “Runaway,” the Times reported.

Her best-known fiction included “The Beggar Maid,” “Corrie” and “The Moons of Jupiter,” The Associated Press reported.

In an interview with The Guardian in 2013, Munro said she had been “writing personal stories all my life.”

“I hope they are a good read,” she told the newspaper. “I hope they move people. When I like a story it’s because it does something … a blow to the chest.”

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