Northern Irish author Anna Burns' 'Milkman' wins Man Booker Prize

17 Octobre, 2018, 09:35 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Anna Burns wins Man Booker Prize

Anna Burns, author of Milkman, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize for Fiction on Tuesday.

The other finalists are US novelist Rachel Kushner's The Mars Room, about a woman serving life in prison; Robin Robertson's The Long Take, a verse novel about a traumatized D-Day veteran journeying through troubled post-war American cities; and Anna Burns' Milkman, a story of family, community and violence set during Northern Ireland's deadly Troubles.

Burns, 56, who was born in Belfast, is the 17th woman to bag the award in its 49-year history and the first woman since 2013.

Set in the British countryside, Ms Johnson's novel centres on the complex relationship between Gretel and her mother, who abandoned her to foster care so she could make a fresh start with a new lover.

"None of us has ever read anything like this before", Appiah declared as he announced the win at a dinner at London's Guildhall on Tuesday evening.

Anna Burns's Milkman was the "unanimous" choice of the panel of jurors, whose chairman, Kwame Anthony Appiah, said it was "enormously rewarding. if you persist with it".

"It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour".

U.S. author Rachel Kushner was also a finalist for "The Mars Room", a gritty tale written from the perspective of a former lap-dancer serving two life sentences in a United States women's jail.

Though set in an unnamed city, "Milkman" undoubtedly drew on her experiences growing up in the British province during the so-called Troubles.

The recipient of the Man Booker Prize gets £52,500 (US$69,400), although the bigger reward is seen as the spike in sales which invariably follows.

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Burns shows the risky and complex impact on a woman coming of age in a city at war.

In fact, none of the characters have a proper name, with the protagonist referring to herself only as "middle sister" as Miss Burns felt it made the story more "atmospheric". It lost power and atmosphere and turned into a lesser - or perhaps just a different - book. Burns explains: "The book didn't work with names".

'The narrative would become heavy and lifeless and refuse to move on until I took them out again.

In a review for The Guardian, novelist Claire Kilroy called the novel's narrator, and the book itself, "original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique".

In 2014, authors from any English-speaking country became eligible for the prize for the first time.

It featured three Britons, two Americans, and Canadian writer Esi Edugyan for "Washington Black", about an 11-year-old slave on a Barbados sugar plantation.

The victor will be announced during a black-tie ceremony at London's medieval Guildhall. Also thought to be in contention was the youngest author ever shortlisted for the prize, Daisy Johnson, for her debut novel Everything Under.

The winning author also receives a designer bound edition of her book and a further 2,500 pounds for being short-listed.

"We are honoured to support the Man Booker Prize for the sixteenth year, as it continues in its fiftieth year to champion literary excellence and the power of the novel on a global scale", Ellis said.

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