American short-story writer Lydia Davis wins Booker International Prize

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:00 EDT
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In this picture taken on May 20, 2013 US author Lydia Davis poses during a photocall for the finalists of the 2013 Man Booker International literary prize in London via AFP
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US writer Lydia Davis, best known for her unconventionally short stories, on Wednesday claimed the prestigious Man Booker International Prize at a London ceremony.

The New York based author beat off competition from the nine other authors who made the shortlist to win the award, which honours “achievement in fiction on the world stage”.

While Davis writes conventional short stories, others consist of just one paragraph or sentence.

One of these stories, A Double Negative, reads: “At a certain point in her life, she realises it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.”

The £60,000 ($90,000, 70,000 euros) prize is presented every two years and is awarded to a living author for work published originally in English or available in translation in English.

Christopher Ricks, chair of the judging panel, paid tribute to Davis’s ability to “realise things down to the very word or syllable”.

The Man Booker website quoted one of her other stories: “I was recently denied a writing prize because they said I was lazy,” it reads.

“Well, not any more,” said the website.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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