US writer Joyce Carol Oates won France’s richest books prize Monday. The Cino del Duca World Prize, which is worth 200,000 euros ($218,000), is often seen as a stepping stone to the Nobel, with Andrei Sakharov, Mario Vargas Llosa and the French novelist Patrick Modiano all winning it before going on to Nobel glory.
Five of her books, including her novel “Blonde”, which chronicled the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, without ever winning. 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, Oates 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.