28 May : Acclaimed Canadian short story writer Alice Munro has bagged this year’s Man Booker International Prize worth 60,000 pounds, pipping celebrated Bengali author Mahasweta Devi and Indian-origin Nobel laureate V S Naipaul in the clash of the world’s literary giants. 77-year-old Munro is the third person to win the prestigious award, which is given every two years since its creation in 2005. Earlier, it was awarded to Albania’s Ismail Kadare and Nigeria’s Chinua Achebe.
Veteran writers Mahasweta Devi and V S Naipaul were among 13 writers who were shortlisted for this year’s award, which recognises a living author for his/her contribution to literature and to highlight the author’s creativity and development on a global scale.
Reacting to her win, Munro, popular for her short stories, said: "I am totally amazed and delighted."
The judging panel which included Jane Smiley, Amit Chaudhuri and Andrey Kurkov lauded Munro saying she "brings 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.The Man Booker International Prize is affiliated with the Booker Prize and can be won by an author of any nationality providing their work is available in English.
Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man Group PLC, said that since her first collection of stories was published in 1968, Munro has been "highly acclaimed as the contemporary master of the short fiction genre".
Munro’s stories frequently appear in publications such as ‘The New Yorker’, ‘The Atlantic Monthly’, ‘Grand Street’, ‘Mademoiselle’ and ‘The Paris Review’.
Her first collection of stories, ‘Dance of the Happy Shades’ (1968) was highly acclaimed and won the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s most prestigious literary prize.
Her success was followed by ‘Lives of Girls and Women’ (1971), which won the Canadian Booksellers Association International Book Year Award.In 1980 ‘The Beggar Maid’ was shortlisted for the annual Booker Prize for Fiction.
Munro, who now lives in Clinton in Ontario, will receive the prize at an award ceremony on 25th June at Trinity College, Dublin.