Canadian Writer Alice Munro Wins 2009 Man Booker International Prize

Alice Munro
Canadian author Alice Munro (Paul Hawthorne - AP)
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Canadian Alice Munro won the third Man Booker International Prize, overcoming competition from authors including Peter Carey, Mario Vargas Llosa and Joyce Carol Oates for the cash award of 60,000 pounds ($94,900).

First bestowed on Albanian writer Ismail Kadare in 2005, the prize is granted every two years to a living author who has made an outstanding contribution to world literature.

Munro, who was born in Wingham, Ontario, in 1931, grew up on a poor farm and is best known for her vivid and economical short stories, which have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly and the Paris Review. The judges, who included U.S. novelist Jane Smiley, honored Munro, 77, for bringing "as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels."

"To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before," the panel said in an e-mailed statement.

In addition to Carey, Vargas Llosa and Oates, the other authors under consideration were E.L. Doctorow, Evan S. Connell, Mahasweta Devi, James Kelman, Arnost Lustig, V.S. Naipaul, Antonio Tabucchi, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Dubravka Ugresic and Ludmila Ulitskaya.

Munro will receive the prize money and a trophy June 25 at a ceremony at Trinity College, Dublin.

The contest is sponsored by hedge-fund manager Man Group PLC, which also backs the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the United Kingdom's most coveted literary award.

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