Anna Burns: A Northern Irish Booker Prize winning author

Anna Burns: A Northern Irish Booker Prize winning author


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.

Her first novel, No Bones, is a gripping account of a girl’s life growing up in Belfast during the Troubles. 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 its capture of the everyday language of the people of Belfast. 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.

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.

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


  • 2018 Man Booker Prize, Winner (Milkman)
  • 2002 Orange Prize, Shortlisted (No Bones)
  • 2001 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, Winner (No Bones)

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