One of Canada's most celebrated writers, Alice Munro, was the winner of the third Man Booker International Prize in 2009.
Best known for her short stories, Munro was awarded the prize from a list of literary titans, including Mario Vargas Llosa, V.S. Naipaul, Peter Carey and James Kelman.
Judge Jane Smiley described Munro’s work as ‘practically perfect’, elaborating that ‘her thoughtfulness about every subject is so concentrated’. Munro’s simple stories focus on small-town life and have won her many awards and prizes. She said of her win, ‘I am totally amazed and delighted.’
Munro went on to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize for The Beggar Maid, and was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013.
To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before.— The 2009 judges of the Man Booker International Prize
Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.
Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.
The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.