Friday, June 26, 2009


Alice Munro tonight 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 -

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.


Anonymous said...

Munro said something in her acceptance speech about having been encouraged to continue to write by Irish short story writers. I can't find the text of the acceptance speech. Do you have a link to it? Do you know which Irish writers have inspired Munro? Thanks for your blog.

Beattie's Book Blog said...

I am working on getting the text of AM's speech and will post it on the blog if successful.