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Anne Enright's tale of grief wins the Man Booker

Irish writer Anne Enright is the surprise winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, beating out bookie favorites Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip, The Guardian reports.

Howard Davies, chair of the panel, described it as “an unflinching look at a grieving family in tough and striking language”. No picnic, it was described by the Observer‘s critic as “a story of family dysfunction, made distinctive by an exhilarating bleakness of tone”. Davies said: “It’s accessible. It’s somewhat bitter – but it’s perfectly accessible. People will be pretty excited by it when they read it.”

Enright herself told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: “When people pick up a book they may want something happy that will cheer them up. In that case they shouldn’t really pick up my book. It’s the intellectual equivalent of a Hollywood weepie”.

There you have it from the author herself – keep your tissues handy and enjoy.