"[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
"Brutally intelligent. . . . At its core, Milkman is [a] wildly good and true novel of how living in fear limits people."--NPR.org
"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 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
"This is a powerful, funny and sometimes immensely beautiful novel, with a female lead whose life is a low-key renunciation of the violence that shook her city for a generation."--Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
"At once intimate and universal, historical and fabulistic and timely, unconventional and almost sentimentally hopeful."--Vulture
"Milkman is an explosive novel, very much of history but not limited by the names, dates, and places of the official record. It's a more intimate work than that, and an outstanding contribution to the growing canon of nameless girl heroes."--The New Republic
"This coming-of-age tale is original, timely, and ultimately rewarding."--PopMatters
"Milkman vibrates. It is energized with a perspective that immerses the reader in a setting that commands attention."--Washington Independent Review of Books
"[Milkman] has unmistakable force and charisma."--WBUR "The ARTery"
"Timely and provocative; not to miss."--Orange County Register
"Imaginative, feminist, and genre-defying. . . . Burns has conjured an extraordinary world."--The National Book Review
"With an immense rush of dazzling language, Burns submerges readers beneath the tensions of life in a police state. . . . A deeply stirring, unforgettable novel that feels like a once-in-a-generation event."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Acute, chilling, and often wry. . . . The narrator of this claustrophobic yet strangely buoyant tale undergoes an unsentimental education in sexual politics. This is an unforgettable novel."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Milkman is a uniquely meandering and mesmerizing, wonderful and enigmatic work about borders and barriers, both physical and spiritual, and the cost of survival."--Booklist, starred review
"Eccentric and oddly beguiling. . . . What makes it memorable is the funny, alienated, common-sensical voice of middle sister, who refuses to join in the madness."--The Sunday Times (UK)
"Milkman is delivered in a breathless, hectic, glorious torrent. . . . It's an astute, exquisite account of Northern Ireland's social landscape. . . . A potent and urgent book, with more than a hint of barely contained fury."--Irish Independent
"I haven't stopped talking about Anna Burns's astonishing Milkman. The voice is dazzling, funny, acute. . . . Like all great writing it invents its own context, becomes its own universe."--Eoin McNamee, The Irish Times
"From the opening page her words pull us into the daily violence of her world--threats of murder, people killed by state hit squads--while responding to the everyday realities of her life as a young woman."--Kwame Anthony Appiah, chair of Man Booker Prize judging panel
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
In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.
Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.