03/21/2012 11:56 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Joyce Carol Oates wins $10K Blue Met award

Montreal’s annual Blue Metropolis literary festival is luring American novelist Joyce Carol Oates in 2012 by honouring her with the International Literary Grand Prix.

The $10,000 award recognizes a lifetime of literary achievement by an internationally acclaimed writer. Oates' win was announced Tuesday in Montreal by festival president William St-Hilaire.

Oates published her first novel in 1963 and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize three times – for Black Water, What I Lived For and Blonde. She has often been a controversial voice, exploring themes of violence, class tension and sexual abuse in contemporary America.

Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif

The Blue Met Arab Prize goes to Egyptian Ahdaf Soueif, known for her lyrical novels and her journalism pieces in The Guardian. Her new book, Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, analyzes the political upheaval in Egypt.

Edoardo Nesi is the winner of the Blue Metropolis Strega Prize, which promotes Italian literature, for his novel Storia della mia gente.

The Blue Met festival plans to focus on the writing of Cuba this year, bringing crime writer Leonardo Padura, poet Wendy Guerra, and the novelist Eduardo Manet to Montreal for readings and discussions of the Cuban literary scene.

Crime writing will also be in the spotlight, with Quebec writers Alain Chaperon Trevor Ferguson, Florence Meney, Jean-Jacques Pelletier and Chrystine Brouillet talking about their approach to the genre.

The festival is scheduled for April 18 to 23 in Montreal.