Alice Munro wins 2009 Man Booker International Prize

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Alice Munro is today, 27 May 2009, announced as the winner of the third Man Booker International Prize.

The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000 to the winner, 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.

Best known for her short stories, Munro is one of Canada's most celebrated writers. On receiving the news of her win, she said, ‘I am totally amazed and delighted.'

More information at the Man Booker website

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Carried Away: A Selection of Stories (Everyman's Library)

Carried Away is a dazzling selection of stories–seventeen favorites chosen by the author from across her distinguished career.

Alice Munro has been repeatedly hailed as one of our greatest living writers, a reputation that has been growing for years. The stories brought together here span a quarter century, drawn from some of her earliest books, The Beggar Maid and The Moons of Jupiter, through her recent best-selling collection, Runaway.

Here are such favorites as “Royal Beatings” in which a young girl, her father, and stepmother release the tension of their circumstances in a ritual of punishment and reconciliation; “Friend of My Youth” in which a woman comes to understand that her difficult mother is not so very different from herself; and “The Love of a Good Woman,” in which, when an old crime resurfaces, a woman has to choose whether to believe in the man she intends to marry.

Munro’s incomparable empathy for her characters, the depth of her understanding of human nature, and the grace and surprise of her narrative add up to a richly layered and capacious fiction. Like the World War I soldier in the title story, whose letters from the front to a small-town librarian he doesn’t know change her life forever, Munro’s unassuming characters insinuate themselves in our hearts and take permanent hold.

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