Lydia Davis wins 2013 Man Booker International Prize

Lydia Davis is best-known for her very brief short stories and work as a translator.

Luke MacGregor/Reuters
Lydia Davis is the author of such works as her book 'The Cows.'

American writer Lydia Davis was named as the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.

Davis is most famous for her very brief short stories and has released works such as 2011’s “The Cows” and the 2009 publication “The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis.”

The author won out over nine other finalists, including writers Marilynne Robinson, Yan Lianke, and Vladimir Sorokin. The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years and is bestowed on a writer who has contributed “an achievement in fiction on the world stage” and whose work can be found in English or through a widely printed translation. The winner receives about $91,000 (60,000 pounds) during an award ceremony in London.

Chair of the judging panel Sir Christopher Ricks praised her work during the ceremony.

“Lydia Davis’ writings fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind,” Ricks said. “Just how to categorize them? Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories? Or perhaps miniatures? Anecdotes? Essays? Jokes? Parables? Fables? Texts? Aphorisms, or even apophthegms? Prayers, or perhaps wisdom literature? Or might we settle for observations? There is vigilance to her stories, and great imaginative attention. Vigilance as how to realize things down to the very word or syllable; vigilance as to everybody’s impure motives and illusions of feeling.”

In addition to her fiction writing, Davis is also well known for her translating. Her English translations of classic works of French literature include Proust’s “Swann’s Way” (2004) and Flaubert's “Madame Bovary" (2010).

The author’s newest short story collection, “Can’t and Won’t,” is scheduled for a 2014 release from publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

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