Irish author wins €100k International Dublin Literary Award

ireland
Anna Burns has been named as the winner of the International Dublin Literary Award for her novel Milkman.
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Digital Desk Staff

Irish author Anna Burns has been named as the winner of this year's International Dublin Literary Award after judges selected her novel Milkman as the winner.

Milkman, which is set in Belfast during the Troubles, also won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2018.

The award comes with a €100,000 prize, sponsored by Dublin City Council, making it the most valuable prize for a single work of fiction.

The judging panel described the selection of Milkman as a "unanimous decision", calling the novel a "tour-de-force" and a "remarkable achievement".

Ms Burns is the first Irish female writer to win the award in its 25-year history.

Libraries

Nominations for the International Dublin Literary Award come from public libraries around the world.

Milkman was nominated by public libraries in the UK, US, Germany and Limerick city and county libraries.

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The award was announced in Dublin and the Irish Embassy in London today.

Ms Burns was unable to travel to Dublin from her home in England due to Covid-19 travel restrictions but she was presented with her award by Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill.

Libraries have always been important to me. I have prominent memories of my childhood Saturdays when I would go to the library with my aunt.

“To go from being a wee girl haggling over library cards with my siblings, my friends, neighbours, my parents and my aunt, to be standing here today receiving this award is phenomenal for me, and I thank you all again for this great honour,” she said.

Ms Burns thanked the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, and Dublin City Council for supporting the "generous award".

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She added: “Libraries have always been important to me. I have prominent memories of my childhood Saturdays when I would go to the library with my aunt. There seemed to be a black market in library tickets when I was growing up, nobody seemed to have their own but people would have three to five cards and come out with nine to 15 books.”

Milkman beat off competition from a shortlist of 10 novels.

The panel of judges was chaired by Prof Chris Morash, the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College.

It also included authors and literary critics from Scotland, Spain, England and India.

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