Literary Birthday – 7 March – Anna Burns

Happy Birthday, Anna Burns, born 7 March 1962.


  1. My creative process involves turning up at the desk and waiting. It’s a very active, receptive waiting for characters to turn up and to start telling me their stories.
  2. Books by women which have inspired me to write would be Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg;  If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland; Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande; The Artist’s Way and The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. These books don’t mythologize writing. They speak of following your instinct, not worrying too much about reasons when you write. The thing was to commit, to turn up, do something, even if not much and even if you believe you’re not really doing anything, or anything ‘worthy’, even if you don’t even know what it is you are doing.
  3. I follow what my characters tell me. My responsibility is to get the world within the book as true to itself as I can, then to try to get it published. Readers, of course, will come to their own interpretation of it.

Anna Burns is an author from Northern Ireland. Her first novel, No Bones was shortlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize. Her novel, Milkman won the 2018 Man Booker Prize, the 2019 Orwell Prize for political fiction, and the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award.

Source for quotes

Image details: DublinLibrarian, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 6th March 2022