Anna Burns

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Anna Burns (born 1962) is a Northern Irish Booker Prize-winning author.


She was born in Belfast and raised in the working-class Catholic district of Ardoyne. She attended St. Gemma's High School. In 1987, she moved to London. As of 2014, she lives in East Sussex, on the south English coast.[1] [2]


Her first novel, No Bones, is an account of a girl's life growing up in Belfast during the Troubles. The dysfunctional family in the novel symbolizes the Northern Ireland political situation.[3] No Bones won the 2001 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize presented by the Royal Society of Literature for the best regional novel of the year in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Among the novels that depict the Troubles within the Literature of Northern Ireland, No Bones is considered an important work and has been compared to Dubliners by James Joyce for capturing the Belfast population's everyday language.[4]

Her second novel, Little Constructions, was published in 2007 by Fourth Estate (an imprint of HarperCollins). It is a darkly comic and ironic tale centered on a woman from a tightly-knit family of criminals on a mission of retribution.[5]

In 2018, Burns won the Man Booker Prize for her third novel Milkman, making her the first Northern Irish writer to win the award.[6] After the ceremony, Graywolf Press announced that it would publish "Milkman" in the U.S. on 11 December 2018.[7] Milkman is an experimental novel in which the narrator is an unnamed 18-year-old girl known as "middle sister" who is stalked by a much older paramilitary figure, Milkman.[8]



  • No Bones (2001)
  • Little Constructions (2007)[9]
  • Milkman (2018)


  • Mostly Hero (2014)[10]



  1. ^ Amazon Author's Page. Amazon. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ Information from the book cover of No Bones
  3. ^ McNamee, Eoin (13 September 2018). "Anna Burns: I had to get myself some distance away from the Troubles". Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  4. ^ Ruprecht Fadem, Maureen E. (2015). The Literature of Northern Ireland: Spectral Borderlands. Palgrave Macmillan US. pp. 137–179. doi:10.1057/9781137466235. ISBN 978-1-349-50161-8.
  5. ^ Lucy Ellmann, "Trigger happy," The Guardian, 9 June 2007.
  6. ^ "Anna Burns wins 50th Man Booker Prize with Milkman! | The Man Booker Prizes". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Anna Burns wins 50th Man Booker Prize with Milkman! | The Man Booker Prizes". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  8. ^ Flood, Alison; Armitstead, Claire (16 October 2018). "Anna Burns wins Man Booker prize for 'incredibly original' Milkman". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  9. ^ Anna Burns
  10. ^ "The Man Booker Prize 2018 - Faber & Faber Blog". Faber & Faber Blog. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  11. ^ List of Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize award winners
  12. ^ Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction
  13. ^ Winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards 2018
  14. ^ "Milkman". Retrieved 16 October 2018.