US Writer, Joyce Carol Oates Wins France’s Richest Book Prize

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Image Credit: Princeton University

By Adedapo Adesanya

American author, Ms Joyce Carol Oates, has won France’s richest book prize, the Cino del Duca World Prize, which is worth €200,000 ($218,000).

This was announced at the Institut de France, on Monday, May 25, 2020.

The prize is often seen as a stepping stone to the Nobel Literature prize, which has been won by some past winners including Andrei Sakharov, Mario Vargas Llosa and the French novelist, Patrick Modiano.

The prize is named after an Italian-born businessman, film producer and philanthropist and run by the Institut de France, which includes the Academie Francaise, the guardian of the French language and its official dictionary.

It was due to be handed to Ms Oates in Paris next month but the ceremony has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Five of Ms Oates’ books, including her novel Blonde, which chronicled the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, without ever winning.

However, the 81-year-old has won the US National Book Award and a host of other accolades for her more than 60 novels, short story collections, plays and a memoir, Lost Landscape.

Regularly tipped for the Nobel, she has been hailed for fearlessly walking into some of the most contentious debates in US society, with her novel, “A Book of American Martyrs”, turning on the murder of a doctor in an abortion clinic.

Born June 16, 1938, she published her first book in 1963 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction.

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