Milkman by Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker prize. Celebrating its 50th year, the Man Booker Prize is worth a grand total of approximately $66,000, and is a highly revered achievement.
A dark and experimental novel, Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. Set in an un-named city but with an astonishing, visceral sense of time and place, the novel follows the story of an 18-year old bookish girl who is dealing with the usual stresses of teenage life – such as hiding her nearly-boyfriend from her mother. But there are also far more sinister themes at play – the girl has been harassed by a parliamentary figure called the ‘milkman’, and, despite her best efforts to conceal the incident, people have found out. Now the young girl is the talk of the town, something she never wanted to be – because to be interesting is to be noticed, and to be noticed is a dangerous thing…
A novel of searing honesty and devastating brutality, it is no surprise that Milkman has claimed the Man Booker 2018 Prize. Author Anna Burns has stated in an interview by the Booker Prize foundation that the book was inspired by her own experience. ‘I grew up in a place that was rife with violence, distrust and paranoia, and peopled by individuals trying to navigate and survive in that world as best as they could.’
Milkman is published by Faber & Faber, and is available for purchase in bookstores and online. This is certainly a 2018 novel not to be missed.
About the author:
Anna Burns was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two novels, No Bones and Little Constructions, and of the novella, Mostly Hero. No Bones won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in East Sussex, England.