Paul Lynch the fifth Irish author to win the Booker Prize

By Katy Thornton

November 27, 2023 at 11:36am

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The Limerick-born author was one of four Irish authors long-listed for the award.

Irish author Paul Lynch has won the Booker Prize 2023 for his fifth novel Prophet Song, which makes him the fifth Irish author to secure the coveted award.

Paul Lynch was shortlisted for the prize alongside fellow authors Paul Murray for Bee Sting, Chetna Maroo for Western Lane, Paul Harding for The Other Eden, Jonathon Escoffery for If I Survive You, and Sarah Bernstein for Study for Obedience.

Other Irish authors long-listed for the 2023 Booker Prize included Sebastian Barry for Old God's Time and Elaine Feeney for How To Build A Boat.

The awards ceremony was held at Old Billingsgate in London on Sunday evening (Nov 26), where Lynch was presented with his trophy by 2022 winner Shehan Karunatilaka.

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Prophet Song is a dystopian novel set in Dublin that follows mother of four Eilish Stack as her husband is interrogated by a new secret police force. Ireland is recreated as a totalitarianism state, complete with violence and displacement, and Lynch constructs a world that captures our current social and political anxieties.

There have been four other Irish Booker Prize winners:

  • Iris Murdoch for The Sea, the sea (1978)
  • Roddy Doyle for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993)
  • John Banville for The Sea (2005)
  • Anne Enright for The Gathering (2007)

Northern Irish author Anna Burns also won the Booker Prize in 2018 for her novel Milkman.

Header image via Getty

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