|Author Anna Burns on Tuesday became the first Northern Irish writer, and the first woman since 2013, to win Britain’s renowned Man Booker Prize for her novel Milkman. — AFP Photo|Viet Nam News
LONDON — Author Anna Burns on Tuesday became the first Northern Irish writer, and the first woman since 2013, to win Britain’s renowned Man Booker Prize for her novel Milkman.
Judges of the annual award praised the work, an exploration of Northern Ireland’s three decades of sectarian violence known as The Troubles told through the voice of a young woman, as "utterly distinctive".
"None of us has ever read anything like this before," said Kwame Anthony Appiah, chair of the 2018 judges, in announcing the winner.
"Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose."
The 56-year-old said after the ceremony in London that she was "completely stunned" at receiving the most prestigious English-language literary prize.
"I just wait for characters to come and tell me their stories and I can’t write until they do," she said.
Burns trumped English debut novelist and British bookmakers’ late favourite Daisy Johnson -- at 27, the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the Man Booker -- for her novel Everything Under.
She also triumphed over longtime frontrunner Richard Powers, who had been tipped to make it three successive wins for US writers with his tree-themed novel The Overstory. — AFP