Canadian author Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize In Literature on Thursday for "her finely tuned storytelling."
The prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, is given to "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction."
Munro, who is best known for her short stories, was hailed by the Academy as a "master of the contemporary story."
Munro is the author of 14 story collections; her latest is "Dear Life," which includes four autobiographical tales. Earlier this year, the 82-year-old writer announced plans to put down her pen and retire.
Munro is the 13th woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature and the 17th Nobel laureate born in Canada. She is also a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction and the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.
More from the Associated Press:
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Canadian writer Alice Munro won this year's Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday.
The Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel literature winners, called her a "master of the contemporary short story."
She's the first Canadian writer to receive the prestigious $1.2 million award since Saul Bellow, who won in 1976 and left for the U.S. as a boy.
Munro's writing has brought her numerous awards. She won a National Book Critics Circle prize for "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage," and is a three-time winner of the Governor General's prize, Canada's highest literary honor.
Often compared to Anton Chekhov, the 82-year-old writer has attained near-canonical status as a thorough, but forgiving, documenter of the human spirit.
Her published work often turns on the difference between Munro's growing up in Wingham, a conservative Canadian town west of Toronto, and her life after the social revolution of the 1960s.
In an interview with AP in 2003, she described the '60s as "wonderful."
It was "because, having been born in 1931, I was a little old, but not too old, and women like me after a couple of years were wearing miniskirts and prancing around," she said.
Last year's Nobel literature award went to Mo Yan of China.
The 2013 Nobel announcements continue Friday with the Nobel Peace Prize, followed by the economics prize on Monday.