Canadian Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday for her tales of the struggles, loves and tragedies of women in small-town Canada that made her what the award-giving committee called the "master of the contemporary short story."
"Some critics consider her a Canadian Chekhov," the Swedish Academy said in announcing the award on its website, comparing Munro to the 19th-century Russian short story writer.
The 82-year-old Munro, who revealed in 2009 that she had undergone coronary bypass surgery and cancer treatment, said it was "surprising and wonderful" to receive the award.
"I am dazed by all the attention and affection that has been coming my way this morning," she said in a statement. "I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers. I also hope that this brings further recognition to the short story form."
Despite the honor and attention it would bring to her work, she told CBC News that the award would not change the decision she announced earlier this year to retire from writing.