Imagine a totalitarian Ireland like Syria.Irishman Paul Lynch to win Booker Prize in 2023 | Culture


Irish author Paul Lynch won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for his novel “The Prophet’s Song” on Sunday night.

The award-winning novel, the fifth by the novelist who was first nominated for the prestigious literary prize, tells the dark and painful story of a mother in an imaginary Ireland descending into tyranny.

Lynch believes that his novels “achieve radical empathy by immersing readers in the lived experience of a collapsing society,” noting that he was inspired by the turmoil in Western democracies and the Syrian crisis that saw entire nations collapse. He described the scale of the resulting refugee crisis and the West’s indifference to it all.

After winning the award, Lynch said: “It was not easy to write this work. I had a feeling that writing it would jeopardize my career, but I had to finish it,” stating “I’m delighted that an Irishman won” this year. “

The Booker Prize is one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, awarded to works of fiction in the English language, and has brought renown to many luminaries in the literary world, including past winners Margaret Atwood and Hilary Mann Tel.

None of this year’s six finalists – two Americans, two Irish, one Canadian and one Kenyan – had previously been shortlisted, and in the previous edition, only one person’s name was included Long list.

The winner will receive a £50,000 (approximately $63,000) prize and a powerful morale boost to his or her literary career.

Lynch wrote parts of his novel “Song of the Prophet” while in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, but he had previously thought about curfews and the troubling implications of the spread of the virus, according to what he confirmed at a press conference. The idea, he said, was “very strange to me, to witness this happening in reality.”

An Irish Mother’s Story

His novel follows the dramatic changes in the life of Eilish Stack, a mother of four living in the capital Dublin, during a period when her husband is wanted by the new secret police, disappeared. Then, as her country descends into dictatorship and tyranny, she struggles to keep her family together.

Paul Lynch, born in Limerick in 1977, is the fifth Irishman to win the Booker Prize. Lynch lives in Dublin and his novels include After the Sea and Grace.

Books shortlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize "Song of the Prophet" Photo by Irish writer Paul Lynch before the Booker Prize ceremony at Old Billingsgate in central London on November 26, 2023.  (Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP)
The chairman of the jury (French) said that the novel “Song of the Prophet” reflects the social and political issues of today’s era.

The author stresses that the work “contains nothing prescient,” but that it “resonates with the deeply researched reader.”

Lynch, who served as chief film critic for Irish newspaper The Sunday Tribune, said he wanted readers to understand the experience of living in a totalitarian regime by emphasizing dystopia through extreme realism in his work.

“I hope to deepen the reader’s immersion so that when they finish the book they not only know what the novel is about but feel it themselves,” Lynch said in a review posted on the Booker Prize website.

Canadian novelist Esi Edogyan, who served as jury president, affirmed that “Song of the Prophet embodies the social and political concerns of our time” and considered it “a triumph of emotional and courageous stories.” “.

She noted, “Readers will find it poignant and true, and the warnings it contains will be fresh in their minds,” and continued, “From the first knock on the door, the prophet’s song forces us to emerge from a state of stillness. As we follow the dire plight of a woman seeking to protect her family in Ireland, we feel complacent in an Ireland sinking into “totalitarianism”.

Six books shortlisted

This year’s literary prize is open to writers of any nationality for works of fiction written in English and published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023.

The six books in this year’s final offer “terror, pleasure, joy and comfort” according to organizers, on topics including injustice, immigration and political extremism.

Shortlisted works include Irish writer Paul Murray’s “The Bee Sting,” a tragicomic epic that explores the role of fate in family troubles. Murray was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2010.

Also in competition is Kenyan writer Chetna Maru’s poignant debut novel “The Western Line,” about grief and sisterly relationships, centered around a teenage girl Found the meaning of life through the sport of squash.

The five-member awards committee also selected “If I Survive,” a novel by American author Jonathan Escoffery that centers on members of a Jamaican family and their chaotic new lives in Miami.

American author Paul Harding also entered the competition. His book “The Other Eden” is inspired by historical events and tells the story of Apple Island, an enclave off the coast of the United States where people from the margins of society flocked to and Choose as your new home.

Canada’s Sarah Bernstein was also shortlisted for her obedience research. The novel explores themes of prejudice and guilt through a dubious narrator.

Last year, in 2022, the Sri Lankan writer won Shehan Karunatiraka He won the Booker Prize for his novel Seven Moons of Mari Almeida, a novel written in a satirical humor style and set during the civil war his country was witnessing.

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