Alice Munro is this year's recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature after a lifetime of writing. The committee called her the "master of the contemporary short story" in its press release but was unable to get in contact with the author to let her know of the good news.
Munro is the first Canadian-based writer to win the Literature award, which makes it an especially sweet win for the writer and her country.
"On behalf of all Canadians, congratulations to Alice Munro," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted.
Even though the Nobel committee was unable to reach Munro to tell her of her win, The Canadian Press was able to get ahold of her for her reaction. Munro called the win "quite wonderful" and said she was "terribly surprised."
"I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win," one story quoted Munro as saying.
"I am amazed and very grateful. I am particularly glad that winning this award will please so many Canadians," Munro said through her publisher, Doug Gibson. "I'm happy that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing."
Munro currently lives near her home in Ontario and began writing when she was in her teens. The majority of her stories focuses on life in Canada and explores the everyday lives of their subjects. In 1971 her book of short stories, "Lives of Girls and Women" made Munro a household name and was later adapted for television in 1994.
She married James Munro in 1951 and they have three daughters: Sheila, Catherine, and Jenny. Daughter Andrea came along a few years later, and the Munros divorced in 1972. Alice remarried in 1976, and her husband, Gerald Fremlin, passed away in April of this year.
Some of Munro's more recent works include: "Selected Stories," "No Love Lost," Too Much Happiness" and "Dear Life." Her latest, "New Selected Stories" was published in 2011.
"To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before," the Man Booker International Prize committee said in 2009.