- 2023 Booker Prize winner
- “Prophet Song,” dystopian Ireland
- Paul Lynch’s debut victory
The 2023 Booker Prize has been awarded to “Prophet Song,” a dystopian fiction work portraying a totalitarian Ireland. The author, 46-year-old Paul Lynch of Ireland, celebrates his first victory at this esteemed fiction writing award.
Set in Dublin, the novel unfolds the ordeal of a family facing an unsettling new world where democratic norms are gradually eroding.
Lynch explained that the refugee crisis and the Syrian civil conflict influenced “Prophet Song.” At the London award ceremony in Old Billingsgate, he expressed “immense pleasure” at returning the Booker to Ireland.
Born in Limerick and residing in Dublin, Lynch described the novel as “not a simple book to write.” When asked about recent violence in Dublin, he expressed astonishment, emphasizing that he is not a “political novelist. ” His work was completed eighteen months ago.
Lynch revealed that a portion of the £50,000 reward money would be applied to his mortgage. His fifth novel, the project, took four years to complete, finishing just before the birth of his son, whom he had taught to ride a bicycle.
Head judge Esi Edugyan highlighted the panel’s aim to identify a novel resonating with the present moment yet having enduring capacity.
“Prophet Song” is a beacon of hope amidst challenging circumstances, reminding us of our collective significance.
Before announcing the winner, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe discussed literature’s positive impact during her Iranian detention. Reading novels in the prison’s secret library “transformed” her life and transported her “to another world.”
The Booker Prize is among the most prestigious literary honors globally, with past winners including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel, and Bernardine Evaristo.