Lancaster University graduate misses out in bid to become youngest ever Booker Prize winner

Daisy Johnson.
Daisy Johnson.

A Lancaster University graduate who made the shortlist for the Booker Prize has narrowly missed out on the top accolade.

Daisy Johnson’s debut novel, Everything Under, was published in June to critical acclaim and in September made the shortlist for the country’s most prestigious literary award.

It was one of six novels being considered, with the winner of the £50,000 top prize announced on Tuesday evening as being Anna Burns, who became the first Northern Irish author to win with Milkman, a Troubles-set novel about a young woman being sexually harassed by a powerful man.

Had she won, Daisy would have been the youngest ever Booker Prize winner at the age of just 27.

Her novel, Everything Under, a reimagining of Greek myth that tells the story of a difficult mother-daughter relationship in modern Britain, is the bestselling book on the shortlist, having sold more than 5,200 copies to date.

Daisy studied English and Creative Writing (Grizedale, 2012) before going on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford.

Everything Under – which was four years in the making – follows on from a collection of short stories, Fen, published last year and winner of the £10,000 Edge Hill Short Story prize.

It brings classical Greek myth to the Oxford waterways, for a tale of a daughter’s search for the mother who abandoned her.