Anna Burns’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Milkman, is a powerful fictional tale set 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.