Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alice Munro Takes International Man Booker Home to Canada

Celebrated Canadian author Alice Munro has won the third Man Booker International Prize. One of the richest and most prestigious international literary awards, Munro will take home £60,000.

The award is made every two years “to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage,” according to the Man Booker organization. It’s been awareded twice before: to Ismail Kadaré of Albania in 2005 and to Chinua Achebe of Nigeria in 2007.

The Globe and Mail reports with pride:
“I am very pleased -- and absolutely amazed and thrilled,” Ms. Munro, 77, said last night in a statement delivered by her long-time editor and publisher Douglas Gibson. “To be among such candidates for the prize was a great honour in itself. It’s especially great at my time of life to have this recognition of a lifetime's work.”

Ms. Munro, who lives in Clinton, Ont., and Comox, B.C., was chosen from a field of 14 writers, including Peter Carey, E.L. Doctorow, Mario Vargas Llosa, V.S. Naipaul and Joyce Carol Oates. The £60,000 (just over $100,000) prize, awarded biannually, is a spin-off of the Man Booker Prize, the well-known annual award given to a writer within the British Commonwealth.
The Globe’s reportage is well worth reading and summerizes Munro’s award-studded career and even offers up an abbreviated fan list:
Ms. Munro has scores of admirers among contemporary writers, including Cynthia Ozick, who called her “our Chekhov,” and Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections), who wrote in the New York Times that, she “has a strong claim to being the best fiction writer now working in North America.”
The Globe piece is here. The Man Booker International Prize Web site is here.



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