October 28, 2013 12:00 PM

>Canada’s short-story writer extraordinaire just won the Nobel. If you’ve never read her, here’s where to start.

‘ROYAL BEATINGS’

A powerful early story that helped define Munro’s spare, singular voice, it’s about a young girl who endures corporal punishment at the insistence of her stepmother.

‘THE BEAR CAME OVER THE MOUNTAIN’

Committed to a nursing home, an academic’s wife falls in love with a fellow resident, forcing her husband to reconsider his own past indiscretions. Heartbreaking.

‘FRIEND OF MY YOUTH’

A story about a daughter’s longing for her dead mother. Showcases Munro’s ability to capture sweeping generational change through the poignant details of everyday life.

‘AMUNDSEN’

From her latest collection, Dear Life, it features a classic Munro turnabout: A teacher at a WWII-era TB sanitarium elopes with the school doctor—and then learns he’s not what he seemed.

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