A feel-good tale when Anna Burns, who relied on a housing charity and food banks for shelter and sustenance as she wrote, took the prize and watched Milkman deliver huge sales.

Burns became the first Northern Irish writer to win the prize when her third novel, a Troubles-era tale of sectarianism and sexual harassment, came out on top. With few paragraphs and characters without proper names, the chair of judges, Kwame Anthony Appiah, said the novel was ‘challenging, but in the way a walk up Snowdon is challenging’.

Burns won hearts at the award ceremony by being visibly overwhelmed. She would use the prize money, she said, to ‘clear my debts and live on what’s left’. 

Anna Burns
Published by
Faber & Faber
Anna Burns offers a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

The Shortlist

The Long Take
Prize winner
Washington Black
Everything Under
The Mars Room
The Overstory

The Longlist

The 2018 judges

Judges for the 2018 prize discuss the longlist

Judges for the 2018 prize discuss the shortlist

Judges for the 2018 prize discuss the winner

The 2018 Man Booker Prize - winner event