Anna Burns reacts to the announcement that she has won
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’.