Irish Novelist Anna Burns Wins Man Booker Prize

Northern Ireland’s Anna Burns won this year’s Man Booker Prize for her novel, “Milkman.”

Anna, 56, becomes the first Northern Irish writer, and the first woman since 2013, to win the prestigious world literature award.

Milkman is Anna’s third full-length novel, and Booker Prize is her first major award.

The Belfast-born writer won the award worth £50,000 ($65,556) overcoming tough competition from two British writers, two American writers, and one Canadian writer.

There were 171 submissions for this year’s prize.

The Duchess of Cornwall presented the award at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday night.

Besides the £50,000 cheque, Anna also received £2,500 ($3277) for being shortlisted.

Milkman tells the story of harassment that a young woman faces from a paramilitary sexual predator in the context of Northern Ireland’s three decades of sectarian violence, known as The Troubles.

Anna shows the dangerous and complex outcome that can happen to a woman coming of age in a city at war.

Commenting on the award-winning work, Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Chair of judges, said “Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose”. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour, according to him. “Set in a society divided against itself, Milkman explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life.”

Milkman is published by Faber & Faber, making it the fourth consecutive year the prize has been won by an independent publisher.

Instituted in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognized as the leading award for quality literary fiction written in English.

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