Inishowen author Paul Lynch wins 2023 Booker Prize for 'Prophet Song'
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Raised in Carndonagh, via Malin and Limerick, Paul Lynch was named as the winner of the literary award, which is awarded to what is, in the opinion of its judges, the best sustained work of fiction written in English and published in the UK and Ireland.
Internationally renowned, he is the fifth Irish writer to win the prize, for what is described as ‘his exhilarating and propulsive portrait of a nation sliding into tyranny – and one woman’s attempts to hold her family together’.
Esi Edugyan, Chair of the judges, said: "From that first knock at the door, Prophet Song forces us out of our complacency as we follow the terrifying plight of a woman seeking to protect her family in an Ireland descending into totalitarianism. We felt unsettled from the start, submerged in – and haunted by – the sustained claustrophobia of Lynch’s powerfully constructed world. He flinches from nothing, depicting the reality of state violence and displacement and offering no easy consolations. Here the sentence is stretched to its limits – Lynch pulls off feats of language that are stunning to witness. He has the heart of a poet, using repetition and recurring motifs to create a visceral reading experience. This is a triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave. With great vividness, Prophet Song captures the social and political anxieties of our current moment. Readers will find it soul-shattering and true, and will not soon forget its warnings.’
Paul Lynch, who now lives in Dublin, has published five novels, winning several awards in the process. Before Prophet Song, Lynch wrote Beyond the Sea, Grace, The Black Snow and Red Sky in Morning. His third novel, Grace, won the 2018 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and the 2020 Ireland Francophonie Ambassadors’ Literary Award. His second novel, The Black Snow, won France’s bookseller prize, Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel.
For his Booker Prize win, the author receives £50,000 and was presented with his trophy by Shehan Karunatilaka, the 2022 winner, at a ceremony held at Old Billingsgate, London on Sunday, November 26.
Read more about the award at: https://thebookerprizes.com/