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Milkman by Anna Burns—the Man Booker winner is a powerful evocation of trauma

The novel, set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, sets the reader on edge

By Catherine Humble   November 2018
Anna Burns wins the £50,000 Man Booker Prize

Anna Burns wins the £50,000 Man Booker Prize

In a passage from Milkman—Anna Burns’s third novel, which has won this year’s Man Booker Prize—the narrator, known as “Middle sister,” walks home one night alone and nearly treads on a decapitated cat’s head. The 18-year-old decides to pick up this chilling symbol of everyday gruesomeness—she wants to bury it. This is 1970s Northern Ireland the air thick with drizzle and suspicion. In such a place, at such a time, if you’re not a…

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