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Alice Munro collects Man Booker International Prize 2009

Alice Munro collects Man Booker International Prize 2009

2009 Man Booker International prize winner accepts award at Trinity College Dublin

Alice Munro tonight, 25 June 2009, received the award for The Man Booker International Prize 2009 at a ceremony held at Trinity College Dublin. She was announced as the winner of the third Man Booker International Prize on 27 May 2009.

Jane Smiley, chair of judges, gave a speech on behalf of the panel and asked Alice Munro to receive the prize "as gratitude, our gratitude for her work." 

She said of The Man Booker International Prize: "... the literary prize we are celebrating tonight makes us think of the world, and aims to be a prize that celebrates the writing of fiction as a world-wide phenomenon."

Speaking of the work of Alice Munro, she commented: "It is because we all know that the surface of Alice Munro's works, its simplicity and quiet appearance, is a deceptive thing, that beneath that surface is a store of insight, a body of observation, and a world of wisdom that is close to addictive, a set of thoughts that we do not want to miss about characters and events that we feel a need to understand."

"The purpose of the prize was to celebrate great writing above all - to recognize the mastery of someone who has entered a pre-existing literary form and changed it utterly, put it to uses that no one had thought of before, made it live freshly for readers. The purpose of the prize was to recognize that art is both illuminating and delightful, and to honor a writer who embodies these two qualities in all her books."

In her speech, Jane Smiley called for more work to be translated into English: "I believe that the Man Booker International Prize is an important one. It offers a vantage point from which English language readers and publishers may survey the world, and it invites publishers and writers and readers from outside the English language to offer their work for translation."

For the full speech, visit - (available shortly.)

Speaking about her work Alice Munro commented;

"Meaning is what you're after, resonance, some strange beauty"

She commented on the 2009 prize;

"It is a wonderful shortlist; I would like to read every book on it."

"I am truly grateful, grateful especially to the judges - Jane, Amit and Andrey."

The award was presented by Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, and Jon Aisbitt Chairman of the Man Group plc, sponsors of the 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. It was first awarded to Ismail Kadaré in 2005 and then to Chinua Achebe in 2007.

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2009 was: Jane Smiley, writer; Amit Chaudhuri, writer, academic and musician; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov.

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. 


For up to date information please visit

For press enquiries please contact:

Caroline Brown at Colman Getty on +44 (0)20 7631 2666


or Mark Hutchinson at Colman Getty on +44 (0)20 7631 2666


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 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

• Please visit for the full speech and photos from the award ceremony as well as photos from the press conference.

• 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 18 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

• 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: Photographs of Alice Munro and the judges are available from the website

• 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; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Victoria Glendinning, writer; 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) and Robert Topping, Topping & Company Booksellers.

• 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; 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 and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, former trustee, has been appointed Vice 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 $44 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 100 Index with a market capitalisation of around £4 billion. Man Group is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index.

• Man Group supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. In the year to March 2009 the Man Group plc Charitable Trust gave almost 10% of its charitable budget to charities concerned with improving literacy. The Trust continues to support the ‘Every Child a Reader' reading recovery programme with a donation of £1m spread over three years from 2006. A sizeable donation was also made to Dyslexia Action, with the Medical Foundation for the care of victims of torture 'Write to Life ' project, Bookaid International, Volunteer Reading Help, The Shannon Trust and St. Petrock's (Exeter) receiving smaller donations. The Trust also supports the RNIB Talking Books Service, enabling the production and distribution of Talking Book formats of the shortlisted titles of the Man Booker Prize. 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.

• Trinity College Dublin is recognised internationally as Ireland's premier university and is the only Irish university to rank in the top 100 world universities (49th) and amongst the top 50 European universities (13th) by the Times Higher Education- QS university league tables.

• Founded in 1592, Trinity College Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland and one of the older universities of Western Europe. On today's campus, state-of-the-art libraries, laboratories and IT facilities, stand alongside historic buildings on a city-centre 47-acre campus. Currently there are 15,700 students, 82,500 alumni, and 2,500 members of staff. The student population represents every county in Ireland and 114 nationalities: not only is it diverse in nationality, it also represents a wide range of social classes and age-groups.

• Trinity College Dublin offers a unique educational experience across a range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, engineering, science, human, social and health sciences. The pursuit of excellence through research and scholarship is at the heart of a Trinity education. TCD has an outstanding record of publications in high-impact journals, and a track record in winning research funding which is among the best in the country. Students also benefit from a scholar teacher model where they have the opportunity of being taught by world-leading experts in their field.

• The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland and is an invaluable resource to scholars. In addition to purchases and donations accrued over four centuries, the College has had 200 years of legal deposit. By this right Trinity can claim a copy of every book published in Ireland the UK. The Library contains 4.5 million volumes and a considerable breadth of electronic resources, providing access to 30,000 electronic journals and nearly 300,000 online books in addition to an extensive collection of manuscripts, the most famous being the Book of Kells.

• Many of Trinity College Dublin's alumni have helped shape the history of Ireland and Western Europe. Distinguished literary alumni include authors Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Abraham "Bram" Stoker, Samuel Beckett who won a Nobel prize for literature, philosopher George Berkeley and historian William Lecky.