Canadian short-story master Alice Munro has been awarded the 2009 Man Booker International Prize that recognizes overall achievement in fiction. The prize has "literary excellence" as its sole consideration, and is available to fiction writers of any nationality.
There has been press over the past decade about the decline of the short story. And while the 77-year-old writer has won her share of literary prizes, she expressed surprise at winning this award. Unofficially, her long-time readers are happy that Ms. Munro has finally gotten the recognition she is due.
Past winners of the Man Booker International Prize are Chinua Achebe and Ismail Kadaré. Contenders for this year's prize included Peter Carey, E.L. Doctorow, Mario Vargas Llosa, V.S. Naipaul and Joyce Carol Oates.