LONDON: Canadian short story writer Alice Munro on Wednesday beat Mahasweta Devi and a host of other literary heavyweights, including Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul and Mario Vargas Llosa, to win the £60,000 Man Booker International Prize.
The prize, different from the annual Booker Prize for Fiction, is awarded once every two years to a living author for his or her lifetime achievement.
Previous winners are Ismail Kadaré (2005) and Chinua Achebe (2007).
Ms. Munro (78), regarded as one of Canada’s most celebrated writers, said she was “totally amazed and delighted” to win the prize.
The panel of judges, which included Indian writer Amit Chaudhuri, said that to read Ms. Munro’s work was to “learn something every time that you never thought of before.”
“Alice Munro is mostly known as a short story writer, and yet she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels,” the judges said.
Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man Group, hailed Ms. Munro as “the contemporary master of the short fiction genre.” “We are delighted to honour her as the recipient of the third Man Booker International Prize.”
She will receive the prize at a ceremony in Dublin on June 25.
Ms. Munro won recognition with her very first collection of stories, ‘Dance of the Happy Shades,’ published in 1968. It won the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s most prestigious literary prize. Her other successful works include ‘Lives of Girls’ and ‘Women’ (1971), which won the Canadian Booksellers Association International Book Year Award, and ‘The Beggar Maid,’ which was shortlisted for the annual Booker Prize in 1980.
Her latest collection of short stories, ‘Too Much Happiness,’ will be published in October.