Anna Burns

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anna Burns

Anna Burns.jpg
Born (1962-03-07) 7 March 1962 (age 61)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
EducationSt. Gemma's High School
Notable awardsBooker Prize
International Dublin Literary Award

Anna Burns FRSL (born 7 March 1962) is an author from Northern Ireland. Her novel Milkman won the 2018 Booker Prize, the 2019 Orwell Prize for political fiction, and the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award.[1]


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.[2] [3]


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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

In 2018, Burns won the Booker Prize for her third novel Milkman, making her the first Northern Irish writer to win the award.[7] After the ceremony, Graywolf Press announced that it would publish Milkman in the U.S. on 11 December 2018.[7] Milkman is set during The Troubles military conflict in the 1970s, in which the narrator is an unnamed 18-year-old girl known as "middle sister" who is stalked by an older paramilitary figure, Milkman.[8]

In 2021, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL).[9]



  • No Bones (2001)
  • Little Constructions (2007)[10]
  • Milkman (2018)


  • Mostly Hero (2014)[11]



  1. ^ "Milkman author wins €100,000 literary award". BBC News. 23 October 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  2. ^ Amazon Author's Page. Amazon. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. ^ Information from the book cover of No Bones
  4. ^ McNamee, Eoin (13 September 2018). "Anna Burns: I had to get myself some distance away from the Troubles". Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Lucy Ellmann, "Trigger happy," The Guardian, 9 June 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Anna Burns wins 50th Man Booker Prize with Milkman! | The Man Booker Prizes". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  8. ^ Flood, Alison; Claire Armitstead (16 October 2018). "Anna Burns wins Man Booker prize for 'incredibly original' Milkman". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  9. ^ Bayley, Sian (6 July 2021). "RSL launches three-year school reading project as new fellows announced". The Bookseller. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  10. ^ Anna Burns
  11. ^ "The Man Booker Prize 2018 - Faber & Faber Blog". Faber & Faber Blog. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  12. ^ List of Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize award winners
  13. ^ "Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction". Archived from the original on 8 July 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  14. ^ Winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards 2018
  15. ^ "Milkman". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  16. ^ Rasheeda, Saka (22 October 2020). "Anna Burns wins the International Dublin Literary Award for Milkman". Literary Hub. Literary Hub. Retrieved 22 October 2020.