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The 2023 Booker Prize has been awarded to Prophet Song, a dystopian vision of Ireland in the grips of totalitarianism.

It was written by Ireland’s Paul Lynch, 46, who has won the prestigious fiction writing prize for the first time with his sixth novel.

Set in Dublin, it tells the story of a family grappling with a terrifying new world in which the democratic norms they are used to begin to disappear.

Lynch said Prophet Song was inspired by the Syrian war and refugee crisis.

When receiving the award he said this was a very difficult book to write; he started before his son was born and by the time he finished, his boy was able to ride a bike.

Lynch’s writing is raw and evocative, capturing the essence of the time period with vivid descriptions and strong character development.

On a dark, wet evening in Dublin, scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack answers her front door to find the GNSB on her doorstep; two officers from Ireland’s newly formed secret police want to speak with her husband.

The story follows three main characters; Eilish, Mark and Aine.

Eilish finds herself caught within the nightmare logic of a collapsing society – assailed by unpredictable forces beyond her control and forced to do whatever it takes to keep her family together.

All three are complex and deeply flawed characters with inner struggles and external challenges, making their journey all the more compelling.

This creates a captivating narrative that keeps readers engaged from start to finish.