October 10, 2013
Canadian writer Alice Munro has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Munro, 82, has written over a dozen short story collections in her career. Most of her stories–composed in a mode of psychological realism reminiscent of 19th-century modernism—focus on the lives of people in a small rural pocket of Canada. Munro’s stories appear with an almost-alarming ubiquity, popping up every year in the big anthologies and the best magazines (Jonathan Franzen’s 2004 claim that “outside of Canada, where her books are No. 1 best sellers, she has never had a large readership” strikes me as odd).
For an appreciative and comprehensive look at her work, take a look at this guide at The Millions. For a contrarian take on Munro, read Christian Lorentzen’s essay in The LRB.
Or, better yet, make your own informed opinion by reading some of her stories:
“Boys and Girls”
“The Bear Came Over the Mountain”
October 11, 2012
Chinese author Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, who, according to the committee, “with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.”
From Nobel’s biography:
“As a twelve-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory. In 1976 he joined the People’s Liberation Army and during this time began to study literature and write. His first short story was published in a literary journal in 1981. His breakthrough came a few years later with the novella Touming de hong luobo (1986, published in French as Le radis de cristal1993).”
You can read an interview with Mo Yan at Granta.
Here’s a Time profile of the author.
And another profile at China Through a Lens.