Author Anna Burns has won the Man Booker Prize 2018 for her novel ‘Milkman’. She is the 17th woman to bag the award in its 49-year history. She is also the first woman to win since 2013.

Burns, 56, is the first author from Northern Ireland to win this most prestigious English-language literary award. The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, presented Burns with the award along with the winning amount of 50,000 pounds ($65,900).


  • The chair of the 2018 judging panel, Kwame Anthony Appiah, called Milkman “a coming of age story”. “None of us have ever read anything like this before. Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose,” Kwame said.
  • Milkman narrates the story of a young woman’s affair with a married man amid the political troubles of Northern Ireland. The novel focuses on a “middle sister” as she navigates her way through rumour, social pressures and politics in a tight-knit community.
  • Burns was in competition with two British writers, two American writers and one Canadian writer.

Things to know about Anna Burns

  • Burns is a Northern Irish author. Born in Belfast, she moved to London in 1987. She now lives in East Sussex, England.
  • Her first novel, No Bones, published in 2001, is a captivating story of a girl growing up in Belfast during troubled times.
  • She is also known to have written Little Constructions, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and Mostly Hero.
  • Burns has also earlier won the 2001 Winfred Holty Memorial Prize, an award for best regional novel.
  • She was also shortlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize for her first novel. The Orange Prize also known as The Women’s Prize for Fiction is UK’s most prestigious literary awards, annually presented to a female author of any nationality for best original full-length novel in English.

Burns’ novel beat Daisy Johnson’s ‘Everything Under’. Johnson, at 27, was the youngest nominee in the Man Booker prize history.

The other nominees included ‘Washington Black’ by Esi Edugyan, ‘The Long Take’ by Robin Robertson, ‘The Mars Room’ by Rachel Kushner, and ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers. The last woman, before Burns, to win the award was Eleanor Catton, who bagged it for ‘The Luminaries’ in 2013. George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo won the prize last year.

Also Read: And The Man Booker Goes To Polish Novelist Olga Tokarczuk

Featured Image Credit: CTV News

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