The Man Booker International Prize Winner for 2013 has been announced as US writer Lydia Davis.
The award which is given every two years is given for a writer’s body of work and their continued creativity, development and contribution to literature rather than an individual piece of work. Davis has only published one novel The End of the Story in 1995, alongside seven anthologies of short stories including the amazingly titled Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2002). She is the current professor of creative writing at the University of Albany, NY. Davis has also translated a number of French texts most notably works by Proust and Flaubert.
Panel judge Professor Christopher Ricks, who was joined on the panel by authors Elif Batuman, Aminatta Forna, Yiyun Li and Tim Parks, said that Davis’ work “fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind.” The British scholar and literary critic also said that “There is vigilance to her stories, and great imaginative attention,”.
Davis’ next body of work will be published in the UK next year and is a collection of short stories entitled Can’t and Won’t.
Past recipients of the £60,000 prize have included Albanian writer Ismail Kadare (2005), Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe (2007) and Canadian short story writer Alice Munro (2009) and fellow American writer Philip Roth in 2011.