Canadian writer Alice Munro has won this year’s Nobel Prize for literature. Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said that Ms. Munro was a “master of the contemporary short story.” Now 82, Ms. Munro has said that she would most likely retire having completed her 14th short story collection, Dear Life. In today’s NY Times article, she said she was amazed and very grateful, adding, “I’m particularly glad that winning this award will please so many Canadians. I’m happy, too, that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing.” To see all of Munro’s work at the library visit the EPL website.
According to a recent report in a Swedish newspaper the jury for the 1961 Nobel Prize in literature rejected J. R. R. Tolkien as a possible candidate citing that “the result (of his work) has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality.” Tolkien was nominated by his friend and Oxford faculty colleague C. S. Lewis. Yikes! Oh, well – the same year Robert Frost and E.M. Forster were also dismissed by the Nobel jury. See the whole article in the Arts Beat section of The New York Times.
Peruvian author and political activist Mario Vargas Llosa has been chosen as the 2010 Nobel Prize winner in literature. This NPR Morning Edition report by Lynn Neary and Renee Montagne profiles the author, his life and his work.
Following the main story, NPR re-ran a short feature by Neary (original air date Oct. 11, 2007) where she tells listeners about the fast and furious action at the London betting firm Ladbrokes.com on who will win the prize for literature. I doubt the Nobel Committee approves of this sort of wagering , but it just might appeal to those gamblers with a more literary bent. It’s too late for this year, but now you’ll know where to place your bets for the 2011 candidate.
Barbara L. (Reader’s Services)
The 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Herta Müller, “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”
A native of Romania, Müller was one of many who opposed the oppressive Ceauşescu regime, and much of her work reflects the theme of living under a dictatorship. After Ceauşescu was overthrown in 1989, the Romanian secret police, Securitate, was supposedly abolished. However, twenty years later, Müller remains a Securitate target, an experience she wrote about just this past July in this fascinating article.