Canadian short story writer is third writer to win prize
Alice Munro is 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.’
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.’
Her latest collection of short stories, Too Much Happiness, will be published in October 2009. Alice Munro will receive the prize of £60,000 and a trophy at the Award Ceremony on Thursday 25 June at Trinity College, Dublin.
Read more about the judging process of the Man Booker Internatonal Prize in an exclusive piece by Fiammetta Rocco, administrator of the prize, in our Perspective section.
For more information on the 2009 Man Booker International Prize winner please see the press release.
Alice Ann Munro
(née Laidlaw; born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short-story writer, winner of the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, and three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for fiction. Generally regarded to be one of the world’s foremost writers of fiction, her stories focus on the human condition and relationships through the lens of daily life. While most of Munro’s fiction is set in Southwestern Ontario and the Canadian Pacific Northwest, her reputation as a short-story writer is international. Her "accessible, moving stories" explore human complexities in a seemingly effortless style. Munro’s writing has established her as "one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction," or, as Cynthia Ozick put it, "our Chekhov."
Alice Munro was born in the town of Wingham, Ontario into a family of fox and poultry farmers. Her father was Robert Eric Laidlaw and her mother, a school teacher, was Anne Clarke Laidlaw (née Chamney). She began writing as a teenager and published her first story, "The Dimensions of a Shadow," while a student at the University of Western Ontario in 1950. During this period she worked as a waitress, tobacco picker and library clerk. In 1951, she left the university, in which she had been majoring in English since 1949, to marry James Munro and move to Vancouver, British Columbia. Her daughters Sheila, Catherine, and Jenny were born in 1953, 1955, and 1957 respectively; Catherine died 15 hours after birth. In 1963, the Munros moved to Victoria where they opened Munro’s Books. In 1966, their daughter Andrea was born.
Alice Munro’s first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), was highly acclaimed and won that year’s Governor General’s Award, Canada’s highest literary prize. This success was followed by Lives of Girls and Women (1971), a collection of interlinked stories that was published as a novel.
Alice and James Munro were divorced in 1972. She returned to Ontario to become Writer-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario. In 1976 she married Gerald Fremlin, a geographer. The couple moved to a farm outside Clinton, Ontario. They have since moved from the farm to a house in the town of Clinton.
In 1978, Munro’s collection of interlinked stories, Who Do You Think You Are?, was published (titled The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose in the United States). This book earned Munro the Governor General’s Literary Award for a second time. From 1979 to 1982, she toured Australia, China and Scandinavia. In 1980 Munro held the position of Writer-in-Residence at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Queensland. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Munro published a short-story collection about once every four years to increasing acclaim, winning both national and international awards.
In 2002, her daughter Sheila Munro published a childhood memoir, Lives of Mothers and Daughters: Growing Up With Alice Munro.
Alice Munro’s stories frequently appear in publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Grand Street, Mademoiselle, and The Paris Review. In interviews to promote her 2006 collection The View from Castle Rock, Munro suggested that she would, perhaps, not publish any further collections. She has since recanted and published further work, and her newest collection, tentatively titled Too Much Happiness, is scheduled for publication in 2009.
Her story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" has been adapted for the screen and directed by Sarah Polley as the film Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. It successfully debuted at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Polley’s adaptation was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, but lost to No Country for Old Men.
- Dance of the Happy Shades – 1968 (winner of the 1968 Governor General’s Award for Fiction)
- Lives of Girls and Women – 1971
- Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You – 1974
- Who Do You Think You Are? – 1978 (winner of the 1978 Governor General’s Award for Fiction)
- The Moons of Jupiter – 1982 (nominated for a Governor General’s Award)
- The Progress of Love – 1986 (winner of the 1986 Governor General’s Award for Fiction)
- Friend of My Youth – 1990 (winner of the Trillium Book Award)
- Open Secrets – 1994 (nominated for a Governor General’s Award)
- Selected Stories – 1996
- The Love of a Good Woman – 1998 (winner of the 1998 Giller Prize)
- Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage – 2001
- No Love Lost – 2003
- Vintage Munro – 2004
- Runaway – 2004 (winner of the 2004 Giller Prize) ISBN 1-4000-4281-X
- The View from Castle Rock – 2006
- Too Much Happiness – 2009
- Governor General’s Award for English-language Fiction (Canada) – 1968, 1978, 1986
- Canadian Booksellers Award for Lives Of Girls And Women (1971)
- Marian Engel Award (1986)
- Shortlisted for the annual (UK) Booker Prize for Fiction (now the ‘Man Booker Prize’) (1980) for The Beggar Maid
- WH Smith Literary Award (1995, UK) for Open Secrets
- National Book Critics Circle Award (1998, U.S.) For The Love of a Good Woman
- PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction (1997)
- Rea Award for the Short Story (2001) given to a living American or Canadian author.
- Libris Award
- Canada-Australia Literary Prize
- Commonwealth Writers Prize Regional Award for Canada and the Caribbean.
- Trillium Book Award (1990)
- WH Smith Literary Award (1995)
- Giller Prize (1998 and 2004)
- O. Henry Award for Continuing Achievement in Short Fiction in the U.S. (2004) For Passion first published in The New Yorker, March 22, 2004 and What Do You Want To Know For Published in The American Scholar (2008)
- Man Booker International Prize (2009, UK) .
- Royal Society of Canada‘s Lorne Pierce Medal (1993)
- Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1992)
- Medal of Honor for Literature from the U.S. National Arts Club (2005) 
- The Love of a Good Woman was also selected as a candidate in the CBC‘s 2004 edition of Canada Reads, in which it was advocated by opera singer Measha Brueggergosman.
Text: Courtesy: Wikipedia
More about Alice Munro
Read an interesting article by DAVID LASKIN
Alice Munro’s Vancouver
Photo: Dan Lamont for The New York Times
Kitsilano Beach, in the Vancouver neighborhood where Alice Munro lived in the early 1950’s, provided the setting for some of her fiction, including "Cortes Island."
Published: June 11, 2006
IN Alice Munro’s Vancouver nobody eats sushi. Nobody jogs along the seawall or browses Granville Street galleries or shops for organic herbs at the Granville Island market. Ms. Munro, the 74-year-old Canadian whom the novelist Jonathan Franzen dubbed "the best fiction writer now working in North America," set a handful of her marvelous short stories in the damp British Columbian metropolis, and the urban geography is so exact you can practically map the city off her fictions. But though the addresses match, the vibe is unrecognizable. Young but hopelessly uncool, lustful without being sexy, dowdy, white, blind to its own staggering beauty, Ms. Munro’s Vancouver is an outpost where new wives blink through the rain and wonder when their real lives are going to begin.
Read the full article here-travel.nytimes.com/…/travel/11footsteps.html
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/bwriting/stories/s1527695.htm (Interview with Radio National 25/12/2005)