Munro wins Booker prize

Munro wins Booker prize

77-year-old Canadian wows judges

The 77-year-old writer, whose win places her still higher on her ascent to what fellow Canadian Margaret Atwood last year described as an elevation to “international literary sainthood”, was picked from a line-up of towering international talent that pitted Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa against Nobel laureate V S Naipaul, Australia’s Peter Carey and the UK’s contender, the Booker prize-winning Scottish author James Kelman.
Judge Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer prize-winning American novelist, admitted that selecting a winner from the 14 longlisted authors — who are assessed on their bodies of work and the contribution they have made to “fiction on the world stage” — had been a challenge, but that Munro “just won us over”. “Her work is practically perfect. Any writer has to gawk when reading her because her work is very subtle and precise,” said Smiley. “Her thoughtfulness about every subject is so concentrated.”

Elusive Nobel

Munro’s spare, quiet stories of small-town life have won her a host of literary awards, although the Nobel prize for literature, for which she is a perennial contender, still eludes her.
Munro’s short story collections, from her acclaimed debut in 1968 with Dance of the Happy Shades and its masterful handling of adolescent preoccupations to 2006’s fictionalised family history The View from Castle Rock, have generally focused on small-town life in rural Ontario. Her latest collection, Too Much Happiness, will be published this October.

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