Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Canadian author Alice Munro awarded Man Booker International Prize for 2009

Canadian author Alice Munro was announced as the winner of the third Man Booker International Prize on May 27, 2009. The coveted prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language. The prize is worth 60,000 UK Pounds (approximately $107,190 CAD).

The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. The 2009 panel included Jane Smiley (chair), Amit Chaudhuri and Andrey Kurkov. Past winners include Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe (2007) and Albanian writer Ismail Kadare (2005). The latter went on to gain worldwide recognition for his work.

The Man Booker International Prize echoes and reinforces the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that literary excellence will be its sole focus. It's significantly different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlights one writer's overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In seeking out literary excellence the judges consider a writer's body of work rather than a single novel.