“Everything about this novel rings true. . . . Original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique.”—The Guardian (UK)
- Winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize
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.
- “Milkman is a strange animal; it asks a lot, but gives something back, too: the electric jolt of a voice that feels utterly, sensationally new.”—Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A–)
- “[Burns’] style powerfully evokes the narrator’s sense of emotional entrapment. . . . Milkman makes a passionate claim for freethinking in a place where monochromatic, us-versus-them ideology prevails.”—USA Today
- “Milkman vibrates with the anxieties of our own era, from terrorism to sexual harassment to the blinding divisions that make reconciliation feel impossible. . . . It’s as though the intense pressure of this place has compressed the elements of comedy and horror to produce some new alloy.”—The Washington Post
- “[Milkman] seeth[es] with black humor and adolescent anger at the adult world and its brutal absurdities. . . . For a novel about life under multifarious forms of totalitarian control—political, gendered, sectarian, communal—Milkman can be charmingly wry.”—The New Yorker