Anna Burns: Milkman (winner Man Booker Prize, 2018)

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Anna Burns: Milkman (winner Man Booker Prize, 2018)

Post by jserraglio » Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:16 am

Just started reading this on St. Patrick's Day. Came to it after reading another Irish writer, Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends & Normal People) and seeing it recommended by a reviewer.

Here is part of the New Yorker's Review and a link to the full article, which should be freely available to non-subscribers.
“Milkman”—told in an unspooling, digressive, and fretfully ruminative manner that bears a rough semblance to stream of consciousness but is much easier to follow—is set in an urban war zone where carrying around plastic explosives seems less aberrant than using the sidewalk as a study. Yet the conflict that most preoccupies this novel flares not between republicans and loyalists or between Catholics and Protestants—Burns, who grew up in North Belfast, uses vague aliases like “renouncers” and “the opposite religion” to take the edge off the novel’s historical specificity—but between the girl and her community. Like so many such insular, embattled enclaves, her “area,” as she often refers to it, is suffocating and inescapable. The characters go nameless, identified only by their relationships to one another. There’s “first brother-in-law,” a rumor-spreading creep; “third sister,” who seems to spend most of her time getting sloshed with her girlfriends; “maybe-boyfriend,” with whom the narrator enjoys a wary intimacy; “ma,” who is Ma and therefore won’t stop nagging her about getting married and producing babies; and the narrator herself, called “middle sister.” ... e-troubles

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