Prophet Song is the fifth novel by Lynch, who is the sixth Irish author to win the Booker Prize in its 54 years of existence, joining the ranks of John Banville, Anna Burns, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, and Iris Murdoch. It will be published in December in the U.S. by Atlantic Monthly Press, and is published in the U.K. by Oneworld.
"There goes my hard-won anonymity," said Lynch, wryly, upon accepting the prize, which comes with a a £50,000 purse, from last year's winner, Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka. "This was not an easy book to write. The rational part of me believed I was dooming my career by writing this novel, though I had to write the book anyway. We do not have a choice in such matters. To quote the apocryphal gospels, 'If you use what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not use what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.' My writing," he continued, "has saved me."
In a statement, author Esi Edugyan, who chaired this year's panel of judges, said: "From that first knock at the door, Prophet Song forces us out of our complacency as we follow the terrifying plight of a woman seeking to protect her family in an Ireland descending into totalitarianism. We felt unsettled from the start, submerged in—and haunted by—the sustained claustrophobia of Lynch’s powerfully constructed world. He flinches from nothing, depicting the reality of state violence and displacement and offering no easy consolations." She added: "This is a triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave."