Short story author Alice Munro was announced as the winner of the third Man Booker International Prize today.
The award, worth £60,000, is given every two years to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage.
It is handed out to a living author who can be from any nationality and who has published fiction either originally in English, or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The prize was first awarded to Ismail Kadare, from Albania, in 2005, and then to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in 2007.
Munro, 77, who lives in Canada, said: "I am totally amazed and delighted."
The judges' list for the 2009 prize included big hitters such as VS Naipaul.
Only one Briton made the list. Glaswegian James Kelman, who won the main Booker Prize in 1994 for How Late It Was, How Late, was named among the 14 contenders for the award.
This year's judging panel included writer Jane Smiley; writer, academic and musician Amit Chaudhuri; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov.
The judging panel said in a statement: "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.
"To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before."
Submissions for the prize are not invited and judges compile their own lists.
Munro will receive the prize of £60,000 and a trophy at a ceremony on 25 June at Trinity College, Dublin.
The judges' list was announced at the New York Public Library in March and had also included the following authors:
Peter Carey (Australia)
Evan S Connell (USA)
Mahasweta Devi (India)
EL Doctorow (USA)
James Kelman (UK)
Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)
Arnost Lustig (Czech Republic)
VS Naipaul (Trinidad/India)
Joyce Carol Oates (USA)
Antonio Tabucchi (Italy)
Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya)
Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia)
Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia)