Northern Irish writer Anna Burns wins Man Booker prize for Milkman

London: Northern Irish author Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel Milkman, which portrays an isolated young woman navigating life in the shadow of paramilitary violence.
Burns, 56, is the first writer from Northern Ireland to win the prestigious £50,000 ($65,000) prize for English-language works, now in its 50th year.
She received her award from Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles, at a ceremony in London on Tuesday night.
Milkman, Burns’ third novel, draws on her experience of Northern Ireland during the Troubles period of sectarian conflict, seen through the eyes of an 18-year-old negotiating the competing demands of friends, family and lovers.
Its language is “simply marvellous; beginning with the distinctive and consistently realized voice of the funny, resilient, astute, plain-spoken, first-person protagonist,” said the chair of the judges, philosopher and writer Kwame Anthony Appiah.
“From the opening page her words pull us into the daily violence of her world — threats of murder, people killed by state hit squads —while responding to the everyday realities of her life as a young woman,” Appiah said.
“The novel delineates brilliantly the power of gossip and social pressure in a tight-knit community, and shows how both rumour and political loyalties can be put
in the service of a relentless campaign of individual sexual harassment.
“Yet this is never a novel about just one place or time,” he said. “The local is in service to an exploration of the universal experience of societies in crisis.”  — dpa