Haruki Murakami was awarded the second Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, his third collection of short stories to be published in English. The prize is awarded to new collections published in English during the last 12 months, and will be shared between Murakami and his translators, Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin.
Veteran journalist and social critic Oriana Fallaci has died at the age of 76 in her hometown of Florence, Italy. Fallaci's most recent and highly controversial books include The Force of Reason (Rizzoli, 2006) and The Rage and the Pride (Rizzoli, 2002).
John Updike has been awarded the Rea Award for the Short Story. The prize is given annually to a living American or Canadian writer whose work has made a "significant contribution to the discipline of the short story as an art form." The jurors were previous winners Ann Beattie, Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates.
Naguib Mahfouz, the great Egyptian novelist, died on August 30th in Cairo aged 94. Mahfouz was the Arab world's most prominent literary figure, winning the Nobel prize in 1988. Best known for his masterpiece, The Cairo Trilogy (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Street), he wrote 50 books over his lifetime, including plays, short stories, essays and 34 novels. His most recent work is The Seventh Heaven, a collection of stories to be published in December by Anchor. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.