Irish Writer Paul Lynch Wins Booker Prize With Prophet Song

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Paul Lynch won the Booker Prize for fiction on Sunday, for his dystopian novel “Prophet Song.”

Set in a dystopian fictional version of Dublin, Prophet Song was awarded the £50, 000 literary prize at a ceremony in London. The annual prize is awarded to the best original novel written in English Language and published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Lynch, 46, is winning the prestigious fiction writing prize for the first time. According to Lynch, the Prophet Song was inspired by the Syrian war and refuge crisis. Set in Dublin, Prophet Song tells the story of a family struggling with a frightening new world in which the democratic norms they are used to, begins to vanish.

Reacting to his win, Lynch said in his acceptance speech, “my writing has saved me. I believe that literary style should be a way of knowing how the world has met and its unfolding. Sentences should press into the unknown moment, into the most obscure hidden aspect of life, that which is barely known but asking to be revealed.”

Prophet Song is Lynch’s fifth book and he spent four years working on it. He has won several other awards including the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award.

Other nominees for the award were Irish novelist, Paul Murray’s The Bee Sting; British-Indian author Chetna Maroo’s Western Lane; American writer Paul Harding’s The Other Eden; Jamaican-America author Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You and Canadian writer Sarah Bernstein’s Study For Obedience.

Lynch received his award from last year’s winner, Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka.

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