The Award, now celebrating its 25th year, is the world’s largest annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The prize comes with a whopping €100,000, and previous winners include Edward P. Jones, José Eduardo Agualusa, and Emily Ruskovich.
“This is a crowning honor for Milkman, which has been astonishing readers around the world ever since its first publication in 2018,” said Fiona McCrae, Director and Publisher at Graywolf. “With exquisite precision, Anna Burns brings us fully into the mind and heart of a teenage girl who is forced to navigate the ever-present threat of violence in her community. We at Graywolf send our sincere thanks to the judges and our hearty congratulations to Anna Burns.”
And in more welcome (and surprising!) news, Burns, born in Belfast, has become the first Irish woman writer (and the first from north of the border) to receive the award in its 25-year history.
Milkman, which follows a young woman during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, was also awarded the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. The novel has been praised as “original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique.”
A hearty congrats!