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Canadian short story writer Alice Munro has been selected for the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature.
According to The Associated Press, Munro is the first Canadian to win the literature prize since Saul Bellow in 1976.
The 82-year-old writer is a rare choice for the Swedish committee as she primarily focuses on short stories. Her work usually contains female main characters, and she writes dramas often focused around southwestern Ontario.
Munro told The Canadian Press, "I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win." She said she was "surprised and delighted" when told by her daughter that she had won.
"It just seems impossible. It seems so splendid a thing to happen that I can't describe it. It's more than I can say."
USA Today reports that the Nobel committee called Munro the "master of the contemporary short story."
Her short stories often appear in The New Yorker and have been included in short story anthologies with other writers. In 2009 she was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, and she has won Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction three times. The 2006 Julie Christie movie Away From Her was an adaptation of Munro's The Bear Came Over the Mountain.
Munro is only the 13th woman to win the literature prize since it began in 1901.