INISHOWEN man, Paul Lynch is one of four Irish nominees for this year’s prestigious Booker Prize.
‘Prophet Song’ by the Carndonagh raised international award-winning author is described as “harrowing and dystopian”.
It is due to be published on August 24. Lynch was born in Limerick and grew up in Inishowen. He now lives in Dublin.
It is also said to be “timely and unforgettable” while vividly rendering “a mother’s determination to protect her family as Ireland’s liberal democracy slides inexorably and terrifyingly into totalitarianism”.
The judges have described it as “a remarkable accomplishment for a novelist to capture the social and political anxieties of our moment so compellingly”.
The Carndonagh man told the Irish Times this week that it was a “huge honour to earn those stripes” to be included in the long list.
“It’s the biggest literary prize in the English language so it can really have an impact on your career,” he said.
He said he was proud there are four Irish writers on the long list. It is “a testament to State investment,” the writer said.
“It took me four years to write this book.
“In that time, I received two grants from the arts council and I availed of the tax exemption.”
Lynch’s novel is set in Ireland as the country is “taking a turn towards tyranny”.
He said his inspiration in writing the novel was how society in Syria imploded.
“This book began as an attempt to understand why people would get into dangerous boats to escape”
He said the book was about victims of countries that collapse.
“Every western country is only two to three governments away from totalitarianism,” he added.
The other three novels to make the long list this year are ‘Old God’s Time’, bySebastian Barry,’How to Build a Boat’, by Elaine Feeney
and ‘The Bee Sting’, by Paul Murray, join nine other books in the running for the prestigious literary award.