Celebrated Canadian short story writer Alice Munro has won the Man Booker International Prize for 2009, beating a field that included India's Mahasweta Devi, the judges announced on Wednesday.
Munro, 78, is the third writer to win the 60,000 pound ($95,500) prize, which is awarded every two years, and the judges praised her ability to pack her short stories with the craft and wisdom of entire novels.
"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," the panel of judges said.
"To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before."
Munro, whose books include "Dance of the Happy Shades", "Lives of Girls and Women" and "The Beggar Maid", said: "I am totally amazed and delighted."
Munro beat a field that comprised Peter Carey (Australia), Evan S. Connell (US), Mahasweta Devi (India), E.L. Doctorow (US), James Kelman (Britain), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), Arno?t Lustig (Czech Republic), V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India), Joyce Carol Oates (US), Antonio Tabucchi (Italy), Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya), Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia), and Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia).
The two previous winners of the prize are Albanian Ismail Kadare and Nigerian Chinua Achebe.