Canada's Alice Munro reacted with typical modesty Thursday when told she'd won the Nobel Literature Prize, saying she was "amazed and very grateful."
The Swedish Academy described Munro, 82, as a "master of the contemporary short story", a genre that has only rarely been honored with the world's most prestigious literary prize.
In a statement released by her her publicist, Munro said: "I am amazed, and very grateful."
"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."
Earlier she told public broadcaster CBC that "family things to do" had kept her mind off the possibility of winning the prize for which she had for decades been considered.
"And, then of course, it just seemed one of those pipe dreams that, you know, it might happen, but it probably wouldn't. (So) I'm very surprised," she told CBC.
"I'm thinking of my father and how happy he would have been, and of course, many other people around me... (who) have always been supportive of my writing."
Munro expressed surprise also that her short stories have been so widely published and well-received by readers.
"My stories have gotten around quite remarkably far, for short stories. And I would really hope that this would make people see the short story as an important art and not just something that you played around with until you got a novel written," she commented.
Accolades poured in from the prime minister on behalf of all Canadians, in Twitter messages from fans and others.
"Hooray!" said another great dame of Canadian literature, Margaret Atwood, who was also in the running for the prize.