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The Colony, by Audrey Magee

Sounds fascinating and reminds me of the work of Brian Friel- especially “Translations”. I’ve recently also read “Factory Girls” which was brilliant, poignant and very funny.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Colonisation is a theme common enough in contemporary fiction, but I haven’t come across much fiction featuring the English colonisation of Ireland*.  Audrey Magee’s The Colony, nominated for the 2022 Booker Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, explores the theme in a microcosm of Irish society on a small remote island in the summer of 1979.  Unlike heavy-handed critiques of colonisation (which have their place in educating readers about its enduring consequences), The Colony is more subtly nuanced in its depiction of a world in flux.

Magee’s island society is insulated from the Troubles which derived from the colonisation of mainland Ireland; there is only news of bombs or car-jackings in this Irish outpost.  Chillingly brief radio reports of sectarian violence punctuate the novel but do not impact on the storyline, except to signal that the violence influences even the matriarch who has staunchly resisted any change…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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