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Milkman

by Anna Burns

Funny and original? Infuriating and verbose? You won't be able to stay neutral reading this disturbing tale of Seventies Northern Ireland. And yet its very essence is the consequences of sitting on the fence in a war. Unforgettable...

Extract

In those early days, those darker of the dark days, there wasn't time for vocabulary watchdogs, for political correctness, for self-conscious notions such as 'Will I be thought a bad person if', or 'Will I be thought bigoted if', or 'Am I supporting violence if' or 'Will I be supporting violence if' and everyone- EVERYONE- understood this. All ordinary people also understood the basics of what was allowed and not allowed, of what was neutral and could be exempted from preferences, from nomenclature, from emblems and from outlooks. One of the best ways to describe these unspoken rules and regulations would be to home in for a second on the subject of names.

Parallels

Cal by Bernard MacLaverty
Fury by Salman Rushdie
Ulysses by James Joyce
 

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