Canadian writer Alice Munro has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2013.
In the official announcement made in Stockholm today (10th October) the Nobel Prize committee declared Munro "a master of the contemporary short story".
Clara Farmer, publishing director of her UK publisher Chatto, told The Bookseller: "Alice is one of the best-loved authors in the world. We all have tears in our eyes. It feels like all's right in the world when Alice Munro is top of the tree. It's simply thrilling."
She added that "a whole new generation of readers" was "waiting to hear" of Alice Munro and would now reach out to her writing.
Jasper Sutcliffe, head of buying at Foyles, said: “We're absolutely thrilled that Alice Munro has won - it shines a light on a career of consistent brilliance lasting over four decades. It's also very pleasing to see the merits of the short story form recognised, especially as Alice Munro manages to a cram a whole novel's worth of meaning in every one she writes. She comfortably bears comparisons with Chekhov, the acknowledged master of the form.”
“We expect great sales for an author who is already very popular for our customers: her most recollection, Dear Life, was amongst our best-selling hardbacks of 2012. She's also the fourth female winner of the prize in ten years, finally overcoming the Committee's long-standing habit of predominantly recognising male writers.”
Munro, a winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, was a late contender in the bookies' odds, becoming second favourite behind the leader, Haruki Murakami. Yesterday, Ladbrokes put her at 4-1 to win the accolade.
She began writing in the 1960s, with her work mainly covering big issues of love and death, set in small Canadian towns. Her most recent collection of short stories, Dear Life, was published by Chatto last year, and as a Vintage paperback in July. The collection contains four of her most personal stories, which she herself described as "autobiographical in feeling" if not quite so in fact.
Munro's biggest-selling book in the UK is 2005's Runaway, which has sold more 44,254 copies. Altogether, her books have sold 139,186 copies since records began, at a value of nearly £1.2m.
In June, after her latest book, Dear Life, won the Trillium Book Award in Canada, she hinted that she planned to retire from writing.