Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize with her novel "Milkman," making her the first ever Northern Irish winner.

Burns will be the 17th female winner in the 49-year history of the Man Booker. She will be awarded prize money of £50,000.

The novel is a 'coming-of-age story' about a girl's affair with a married man in an unnamed Northern Irish city during The Troubles.

The judges said "Milkman" was "simply marvellous" and praised the "distinctive and consistently realised voice of the funny, resilient, astute, plain-spoken, first-person protagonist".

However, chair of the judges' panel Kwame Anthony Appia stated that the book is not an easy read, pointing to the unusually long sentences and unfamiliar language.

In addition, the characters in the novel are not named. The narrator calls herself "Middle Sister."

It is the fourth novel by the Belfast born writer. Her first, "No Bones," was published in 2001, followed by "Little Constructions" in 2007, then, in 2004 a novella called "Mostly Hero."

Favourite for the Man Booker

Earlier in the day, the favourite to win was Everything Under by 27-year-old Daisy Johnson - the youngest nominee in the history of the Man Booker. Ladbrokes tipped her as 9/4 favourite at the start of the day.

Everything under is a retelling of a Greek Myth set in modern Britain, which tells the story of a difficult relationship between a mother and her daughter.

It was also the best selling of the books, selling - according to Nielsen BookScan - more than 5,200 copies.

Burns revealed in the Guardian last week that "Milkman" has its origins in “a few hundred words that were superfluous in a novel I was currently writing”. She tried to craft a short story from them, and they turned into Milkman.

Man Booker shortlist

Others to make the shortlist were "Washington Black" by Esi Edugyan: The Canadian author's story of an eleven old slave on a Barbados sugar plantation;

The Man Booker Prize was established in 1969 and it's only criteria for the winner is the best novel in the opinion of the judges. Each of the shortlisted authors receives £2500, although they will make far more from the increase in sales from being recognised as a great novelist.

Last month, Paul McCartney announced he had written book, [VIDEO] drawing on his experiences as a grandfather.

Burns wasn't the only big winner tonight. In Channel 4 series "The Circle, Catfish Kate [VIDEO] won the £75,000 top prize.