Canadian author Alice Munro died at her home in Port Hope, Ontario, on May 13. She was 92.

Munro, who is best known for her many short story collections depicting the lives of those living in small town Ontario, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013, when she was recognized by the Swedish Academy as a "master of the contemporary short story." At the time of her award, Peter Englund, then permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, praised Munro as "a fantastic portrayer of human beings," noting that her consistent depiction of the rural Canadian landscape proved that she "has everything she needs in this small patch of earth."

Upon news of Munro’s death, Kristin Cochrane, CEO of Penguin Random House Canada, Munro's longtime publisher, said in a statement: "Alice Munro is a national treasure—a writer of enormous depth, empathy, and humanity whose work is read, admired, and cherished by readers throughout Canada and around the world. Alice's writing inspired countless writers too, and her work leaves an indelible mark on our literary landscape."

Munro's literary career began with her first story, "The Dimensions of a Shadow," published while she was attending the University of Western Ontario. Her first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), was awarded the Governor General's Award, marking the start of a distinguished career that included thirteen story collections, a novel, and two volumes of selected stories. Among her best-known books are Lives of Girls and Women, The Moons of Jupiter, Open Secrets, and Runaway. Two of Munro's stories have been adapted into films: "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," adapted by Sarah Polley in 2006 as Away from Her, and “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage," adapted by Liza Johnson in 2013 as Hateship Loveship.

Munro's final book, Dear Life, for which she was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, was published in 2012, just prior to her winning the Nobel. Throughout her career, Munro received numerous awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, two Giller Prizes, three Governor General's Literary Awards, the Lannan Literary Award, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Trillium Book Award, and England's W. H. Smith Literary Award.

Munro was born in 1931 and grew up in Wingham, Ontario, a small town in southwestern Ontario. She attended the University of Western Ontario, in nearby London, for two years before marrying Jim Munro, in 1951, and moving with him to Vancouver. He worked for Eaton's department store, while she stayed home to raise their daughters. There, she wrote all the time, discarding most of it but publishing occasionally; she thought of herself, as told PW in an interview in 1986, as "promising" for too long. The couple then opened a bookstore, Munro’s Books, in 1963, where Alice worked for three years. The store still exists today. After a divorce, she returned to Ontario and remarried.

Despite her obvious talent from a young age, Munro did not see literary success as inevitable. "When I was into my 30s I became increasingly depressed by rejection letters," she said. "I had had the feeling that by the time I was 30 I would be established. But I was not at all. By the time of Lives of Girls and Women, I was into my 40s and I had become more thin-skinned."

A private person, Munro has long shied away from the spotlight. On winning the Nobel, Munro expressed her surprise and gratitude. "I am dazed by all the attention and affection that has been coming my way this morning," she said at the time. She hoped, she added, that her win would foster further interest in Canadian writers and bring more recognition to the short story form.

The short story, Munro told PW in 1986, was a form she felt better suited to reflecting contemporary life than a novel. “I no longer feel attracted to the well-made novel,” she admitted. “I want to write the story that will zero in and give you intense, but not connected, moments of experience. I guess that's the way I see life. People remake themselves bit by bit and do things they don't understand. The novel has to have a coherence, which I don't see any more in the lives around me."

She added that it wasn’t plot that interested her in literature, but something more ephemeral, perhaps even spiritual. “What is important to me about the story is not what happens.... It's like a view of reality—a kind of reality that I can go into for a while, and I know right away if I can go into it [further] or not. Then, once I'm into it, I'll find out what happens. It's getting into it that's important, not caring what happens. A story is a spell, rather than a narrative."