posted on October 17th, 2018

Anna Burns Becomes Northern Ireland’s First Man Booker Prize Winner


Anna Burns made history as she became the first Northern Irish winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, this year’s Man Booker Prize saw Anna beat off competition from two British writers, two American writers and one Canadian writer, to scoop the accolade for her novel Milkman.

Although she now lives in East Sussex, Anna drew on the experience of growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles to write Milkman. The novel, which is set in an unnamed city, focuses on middle sister as she navigates her way through rumour, social pressures and politics in a tight-knit community. Burns shows the dangerous and complex outcome that can happen to a woman coming of age in a city at war.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, 2018 Chair of judges for the Man Booker Prize, said: “None of us has ever read anything like this before. 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. Set in a society divided against itself, Milkman explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life.”

Milkman is published by Faber & Faber.