Anna Burns creates history; becomes the first writer from Northern Ireland to win Man Booker Prize

Anna won the prize is open to English-language authors from around the world. She received her trophy from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during a ceremony at London’s medieval Guildhall yesterday.

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Anna Burns creates history; becomes the first writer from Northern Ireland to win Man Booker Prize
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Anna Burns becomes the first writer from Northern Ireland to win the 50,000-pound the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction for “Milkman”. Her book Milkman is a vibrant, violent story about men, women, conflict and power, set during Northern Ireland’s years of Catholic-Protestant violence.

Anna won the prize is open to English-language authors from around the world. She received her trophy from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during a ceremony at London’s medieval Guildhall yesterday.

Belfast-born, 56-year-old novelist said she was “stunned” to have won. Burns said her books took a long time to complete. She has often struggled financially since her first novel, “No Bones,” was released in 2001.

Speaking to reporters Ms Burns told, “I just wait for my characters to come and tell me their stories, and I can’t write until they do”. Ms Burns said that with her prize money, “I will clear my debts and live on what’s left.”

Recalling the idea behind this book, Ms Burns said the seed of Milkman came to her in the image of a teenage girl walking down a street in a divided city while reading the novel Ivanhoe.

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Narrated by a bookish young woman, Milkman deals with an older man who uses family ties, social pressure and political loyalties as weapons of sexual coercion and harassment. Set in the 1970s, the book was published amid the global eruption of sexual misconduct allegations that sparked the #MeToo movement.

Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, who chaired the judging panel, said: “I think this novel will help people to think about ‘#Me Too,’ movement and I like novels that help people think about current movements and challenges”. “I think it’s a very powerful novel about the damage and danger of rumour” he added.

Burns won the prize after beating five other novelists, including American writer Richard Powers’ The Overstory and Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black.

The other finalists were U.S. novelist Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room, Robin Robertson’s The Long Take, and 27-year-old British author Daisy Johnson’s Greek tragedy.

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Anna Burns creates history; becomes the first writer from Northern Ireland to win Man Booker Prize
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Anna Burns creates history; becomes the first writer from Northern Ireland to win Man Booker Prize
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Anna won the prize is open to English-language authors from around the world. She received her trophy from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during a ceremony at London’s medieval Guildhall yesterday.
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