This year's Man Booker Prize Winner is exhilarating! It's about the Irish/British mess, yeah. But it's also about all the other messes: the mess of being a woman, and also the messy mess of love and entrapment, and of course the putrid entertaining mess of family. While the story is pretty simple, the writing is the star. If you liked George Saunders's Lincoln in the Bardo or Paul Beatty's The Sellout or even Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, then you can handle this one. Like my friend Mason said, "It's a tricky one--but so, so worth it."
In an unnamed city, middle sister stands out for the wrong reasons. She reads while walking, for one. And she has been taking French night classes downtown. So when a local paramilitary known as the milkman begins pursuing her, she suddenly becomes "interesting," the last thing she ever wanted to be. Despite middle sister's attempts to avoid him--and to keep her mother from finding out about her maybe-boyfriend--rumors spread and the threat of violence lingers. Milkman is a story of the way inaction can have enormous repercussions, in a time when the wrong flag, wrong religion, or even a sunset can be subversive. Told with ferocious energy and sly, wicked humor, Milkman establishes Anna Burns as one of the most consequential voices of our day.