Read an extract from Anna Burns's novel Milkman

2 October 2018

Milkman by Anna Burns chapter sampler

Anna Burns’s Man Booker-shortlisted novel, Milkman, is a powerful fictional account set during in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The story is told through the voice of a teenage girl known only as middle sister, who is coming of age in the most arduous of circumstances. She is doing her best to negotiate the burdening suspicion and gossip in her tight-knit community while being on the receiving end of unwanted attention from a man known as milkman.

This extract contains a rare moment of light when our young protagonist heads to a French evening class downtown. During the class, the teacher invites the students to consider the colour of the sky, but for middle sister the menace and fear of milkman is never far away.

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Anna Burns

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018

Milkman is extraordinary. I’ve been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It’s frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.’
Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies