Man Booker Prize victor will use money to pay off debts

Press Association

Press Association

The shortlisted authors each receive a prize of 2,500 pounds (about 3,296 USA dollars) and a specially bound edition of their book.

Burns is the first author from Northern Ireland to win the prize, and her novel "Milkman" is 348-pages long and is set in an unnamed city in the north of Ireland during the late 1970s.

The Belfast-born Burns, 56, is the first Northern Irish writer to win the Booker, and the first woman to triumph since 2013.

Milkman is the fourth novel to be written by Burns, who was born in Belfast in 1962. She had previously authored two novels - "No Bones" and "Little Constructions". Her most recent work prior to Milkman was Mostly Hero - a novella published in 2014.

"None of us has ever read anything like this before, ' said Appiah".

"It's written in this awesome voice of this woman who is living in a divided society. He is taking advantage of the divisions in society to use the power he has because of the divisions, to go after her. Sectarianism and divisions in Ireland play an enormous role in the novel [but] Northern Ireland is not the only place in the world with a divided society".

Burns revealed in the Guardian last week that Milkman has its origins in "a few hundred words that were superfluous in a novel I was now writing".

"It is true that because of the flow of the language and..."

"It's challenging in the way a walk up (mount) Snowdon is challenging".

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Appiah said: "Although it's set in the 70s, Milkman is a deep, subtle, unpolemical and intellectually and moral challenging picture of something which is part of the MeToo challenge".

The Man Booker Prize shortlist of six writers was dominated by women this year, with four women making the top selection.

Milkman beat competition from Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, who, at 27, was the youngest nominee in Man Booker history. The presumed frontrunners were USA author Richard Powers, for his nature-themed epic The Overstory, and Canada's Esi Edugyan, whose latest novel Washington Black was greeted with universal praise stateside upon its September publication.

And later, she told Radio 4's Today programme that she creates the end of sentences before the beginning.

Another finalist was Richard Powers (USA) for The Overstory, about nine strangers summoned by trees to try to save the continent's few remaining acres of forest.

Milkman also spoke to the concerns of today, Appiah said. This will also help to inspire the next generation of writers.

"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.

Val McDermid, the best-selling crime writer and one member of the Man Booker judging panel, said, "The kind of people who read literary fiction do not ask authors for passports".

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