Belfast Telegraph

NI’s Man Booker winner Burns in ‘joyous’ return to her home city for a reading at Lyric

Anna Burns on stage at the Guildhall in London after she was awarded the Man Booker Prize for fiction for her novel Milkman last October
Anna Burns on stage at the Guildhall in London after she was awarded the Man Booker Prize for fiction for her novel Milkman last October

By Mark Bain

Author Anna Burns said she's "excited and joyous" about making her first official public appearance in Belfast since winning the Man Booker Prize.

The Belfast-born writer, whose novel Milkman captured one of the top prizes in literature last October, will be in conversation with Irish author and fellow Man Booker winner Anne Enright at the Lyric Theatre on April 15.

Anna will read extracts from her work and give an insight into life growing up in the city.

She said: "I feel excited and joyous to be coming to my home town of Belfast to take part in this event. It's an honour to be the first Northern Irish winner of the Man Booker Prize and to have the chance to share this achievement with the place I was born and grew up in."

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is hosting the event with publishers Faber Members.

Arts Council literature and drama head Damian Smyth said: "We knew that Anna Burns was inventive, unnerving and daring as a writer, but it was only when Milkman appeared early in 2018 that the scale of her gift was visible. It was already clear that in Milkman she had written possibly the best novel from or about Northern Ireland in a decade.

"Since then, we have lived with the book's scrutiny of the insidious and invasive cultures of the time, with its intense and distinctive humour and its masterly control of the play of our language. Her characters Somebody McSomebody and Middle Sister have joined the ranks of the indispensables of our culture.

"The Arts Council wanted to find a way of marking Anna's wonderful achievement."

He added: "Anna had been thinking along these lines too and even though we put it out there that we were interested, we were delighted Anna suggested The Lyric Theatre as a venue.

"Milkman has been hugely successful and put Belfast even more on the map as a literary city. A lot of Anna's writing centres around Belfast and it's a huge joy to welcome her back to her home city which she has so vividly refashioned for good in the image of her characters and at such a wonderful venue."

Tickets for the event are priced at £12, with a concession price of £8 per ticket for schools and are available at www.lyrictheatre.co.uk.

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