Happy birthday to Alice Munro! In honour of her 86th birthday, we look at five reasons why she is a true literary wonder.

If the fantastic news that Alice Munro has won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature sent you looking to revisit some of her short stories, consider the following collections. Though she's been honoured with almost too many awards to count — including the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work— these titles have won some of the country's (and the world's) most notable literary prizes. Start reading and rediscover why Munro is a true literary wonder.

Dance of the Happy Shades
Munro's highly acclaimed first collection of short stories was published in 1968. It introduced what came to be known as classic Munro themes, such as rural life with a strong regional focus on Huron County in Ontario and coming-of-age struggles. It won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction —the first of many GGs the author.

Who Do You Think You Are
Originally published in Canada in 1978, this superb collection of linked stories also won the Governor General. When it was published in the United States as The Beggar Maid, it was also nominated for the Booker Prize.

 

5 Award-Winning Books by Alice Munro

 

The Progress of Love
This collection of 13 stories won Munro her third Governor General Award. In it, the author continues her celebrated exploration of the intimate and transforming moments of life.

The Love of a Good Woman
Published in 1998, many of these short stories originally appeared in The New Yorker and Saturday Night magazine. It won Munro her first Giller Prize (she also won the 2004 Giller Prize for Runaway) and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

Dear Life
Munro has stated that this collection, published in October of 2012, will be her last. It won the Trillium Book Award. The paperback version will be published this week, hopefully bringing a new flood of readers to this iconic Canadian writer's work. As always, these reveal how extraordinary the ordinary life can be.

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