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Alice Munro wins 2009 Man Booker International Prize

Alice Munro wins 2009 Man Booker International Prize

Alice Munro wins 2009 Man Booker International Prize

Alice Munro is today, 27 May, announced as the winner of the third Man Booker International Prize.

The Man Booker International Prize is worth £60,000 to the winner and is awarded once every two years to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage. It was first awarded to Ismail Kadaré in 2005 and then to Chinua Achebe in 2007.

Munro is best known for her short stories and is one of Canada's most celebrated writers.   

Alice Munro comments: "I am totally amazed and delighted."

Alice Munro was born in Wingham, Ontario on 10 July 1931. In 1963 she moved to Victoria and established Munro Books with her husband. Her 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. This 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.

Other awards Munro has won include the Marian Engel Prize, the Canada-Australia Literary Prize, the Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award and the 1978 and 1986 Governor General's Literary Awards.

Her latest collection of short stories, Too Much Happiness, will be published in October 2009. She lives in Canada.

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2009 is: Jane Smiley, writer; Amit Chaudhuri, writer, academic and musician; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov. The panel made the following comment on the winner:

"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.  To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before."

The Man Booker International Prize seeks to recognise a living author who has contributed significantly to world literature and to highlight the author's continuing creativity and development on a global scale. 

Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man Group plc comments: "Since her first collection of stories was published in 1968, Alice Munro has been highly acclaimed 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."

Alice Munro will receive the prize of £60,000 and a trophy at the Award Ceremony on Thursday 25 June at Trinity College, Dublin.


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The Winner


Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published eleven new collections of stories-Dance of the Happy Shades; Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You; The Beggar Maid; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets;  The Love of a Good Woman;  Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; The View from Castle Rock; and two volumes of selected stories, Selected Stories and Carried Away-as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women.

During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including three of Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards and two of its Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England's W.H. Smith Book Award, the United States' National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature. In 1980 The Beggar Maid (1980) was shortlisted for the annual Booker Prize for Fiction. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. Her latest collection of short stories, Too Much Happiness, will be published in October 2009.

Alice Munro lives in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron.

Dance of the Happy Shades 1968

Lives of Girls and Women 1971

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You 1974

Who Do You Think You Are?  1978

The Beggar's Maid 1980

The Moons of Jupiter 1982

The Progress of Love 1986

Friend of My Youth 1990 

Open Secrets 1994

Selected Stories 1996

The Love of a Good Woman 1998 

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage 2001

No Love Lost 2003

Vintage Munro 2004

Runaway 2004

The View from Castle Rock 2006

Away From Her 2007


Publisher: Chatto & Windus, Random House (UK):

Sue Amaradivakara on +44 (0) 20 7840 8425


The Judges


Jane Smiley (Chair)

Born in Los Angeles, California, Jane Smiley was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving her B.A. at Vassar College in 1971, she travelled to Europe for a year, later returning to graduate school at the University of Iowa. Smiley is the author of ten works of fiction, including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will and A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.


Amit Chaudhuri

Amit Chaudhuri is a novelist, critic, and musician. He is also the author of two acclaimed critical studies, a book of stories, and an influential anthology of Indian literature. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement, and is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. Chaudhuri is a vocalist in the Indian classical tradition, and the conceptualiser of the acclaimed project in experimental music, This Is Not Fusion. His latest novel, The Immortals, is published in the UK this month.


Andrey Kurkov

Andrey Kurkov, born in St Petersburg in 1961, now lives in Kiev. Having graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute (he speaks English, German, French, Polish, Japanese, Italian and Romanian), he worked for some time as a journalist, did his military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays and author of critically acclaimed and popular novels including Death and the Penguin, Penguin Lost, A Matter of Death and Life, The Case of the General's Thumb, The World of Mr Big Forehead, and The President's Last Love. He has also written one book for children, The Adventures of Baby Vacuum Cleaner Gosha.

Notes to Editors


The Man Booker International Prize is unique in the world of literature in that it can be won by an author of any nationality, providing that his or her work is available in the English language.  It is awarded every second year.  An author can only win the award once

The Judges' List was announced at The New York Public Library on Wednesday 18th March 2009 and, in addition to Alice Munro, included the following authors:


Peter Carey (Australia)

Evan S. Connell (USA)

Mahasweta Devi (India)

E.L. Doctorow (USA)

James Kelman (UK)

Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

Arnošt Lustig (Czech Republic)

V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India)

Joyce Carol Oates (USA)

Antonio Tabucchi (Italy)

Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya)

Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia)

Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia)


If applicable and in accordance with the rules of the separate prize for translation, the winner can choose a translator or translators of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000


The Administrators of the Man Booker International Prize are Fiammetta Rocco and Ion Trewin - also Literary Director of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction


Photographs of the judges are available from Colman Getty


Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides administrative back-up


The Man Booker International Prize website includes detailed information about all aspects of the prize and runs regular news bulletins:


The Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Man Booker Prizes); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary, Booker Ltd; Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man Group plc; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Victoria Glendinning, writer; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Gerry Johnson, Managing Director, Waterstone's; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation);  Robert Topping, Topping & Company Booksellers and Erica Wagner, literary editor, The Times.


The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council, Baroness Kennedy QC; writer, Baroness Neuberger DBE; MEP Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne; and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, has recently been appointed President of the Foundation.


The Man Booker International Prize is sponsored by Man Group plc. Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. With a broad range of funds for institutional and private investors globally, it is known for its performance, innovative product design and investor service. Man manages around $50 billion. The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 1OO Index, with a market capitalisation of around USD6 billion. Man Group is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index.


Man supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. In the year to March 2OO8 the Man Group plc Charitable Trust gave 12% of its USD12m charitable budget to charities concerned with improving literacy. A major contribution in the literacy category was a £1m pledge to the ‘Every Child a Reader' reading recovery programme spread over three years from 2OO6. Other sizeable donations were made to Dyslexia Action and Kids Company Reading Recovery Teachers, whilst smaller contributions were made to Write to Life, Bookaid International, Volunteer Reading Help, The Shannon Trust, RNIB Talking Books and St. Petrock's (Exeter). Further information can be found at


Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide.  It serves over 350,000 independent businesses.