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Over The Edge

Dance of the happy shades.

Dance of the happy shades.

by Nahid Taheri, Contributor 

This year, the Royal Swedish Academy’s Nobel committee awarded the Nobel Prize for literature to a short story author for the first time. This will hopefully emphasize the importance of the short story, since it is the first time that an author has received the Nobel Prize for the genre. Everyone in our contemporary society is more or less always in a rush, and so the short story is more convenient to read than a long novel. Today’s publishers, who ignore short stories in favour of long novels, however, disregard this even though readers enjoy them.

Canadian author, Alice Munro, was this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and the Nobel committee referred to her as the master of the contemporary short story. She is one of the most important contemporary authors, and has been writing short stories for over sixty years. She is the thirteenth woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature, and she is hailed as the “Canadian Chekhov.” Her stories are about human kindness, and most of them take place in her Ontario hometown. Since she does not like to be the center of attention, she rarely appears in media. She was even absent from the Nobel ceremony; according to a note published by the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, she declined the invitation for health reasons. The Academy usually informs the winner half an hour before publishing the news but Alice Munro could not be reached for contact and was instead left a message. She received this prize not for one particular piece, but rather, for the collection of her life’s work. Munro stated that she is no longer writing. As an author, however, she published brilliant pieces, especially short stories, and did her best during her many years of writing.