May 22, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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American short story writer Lydia Davis has won the  Man Booker International Prize for fiction.

Davis  beat out a shortlist of 10 contenders for the $90,000 prize -including Montreal’s Josip Novakovich.

Booker International panel chairman Christopher Ricks said 65-year-old Davis’s stories embraced so many literary structures that it was hard to pin them down with a single label.

Ricks said in part  “Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories? Or perhaps miniatures? anecdotes? fables?  Prayers, or perhaps wisdom literature?”

Lydia Davis is  a professor of creative writing at the University of Albany in New York.

Some of Davis’s longer stories may run to two, three or as many as nine pages, while others can be as brief as a paragraph or even just a sentence.

Davis is also an accomplished translator who has been awarded the  Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government.

The Man Booker International Prize is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or available in translation in the English language.

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