About Me

My photo
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Milkman - an excerpt

In an unnamed city, middle sister stands out for the wrong reasons. She's pursued by a paramilitary known only by the milkman, and despite her efforts to avoid him, rumors spread and danger looms.  Read an excerpt from Anna Burns' 2018 Man Booker Prize winner, Milkman.
The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and
threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died. He had been shot by one of the state hit squads and I did not care about the shooting of this man. Others did care though, and some were those who, in the parlance, ‘knew me to see but not to speak to’ and I was being talked about because there was a rumor started by them, or more likely by first brother-in-law, that I had been having an affair with this milkman and that I was eighteen and he was forty-one. I knew his age, not because he got shot and it was given by the media, but because there had been talk before this, for months before the shooting, by these people of the rumour, that forty-one and eighteen was disgusting, that twenty-three years’ difference was disgusting, that he was married and not to be fooled by me for there were plenty of quiet, unnoticeable people who took a bit of watching. It had been my fault too, it seemed, this affair with the milkman. But I had not been having an affair with the milkman. I did not like the milkman and had been frightened and confused by his pursuing and attempting an affair with me. I did not like first brother-in-law either. In his compulsions he made things up about other people’s sexlives. About my sexlife. When I was younger, when I was twelve, when he appeared on my eldest sister’s rebound after her long-term boyfriend got dumped for cheating on her, this new man got her pregnant and they got married right away. He made lewd remarks about me to me from the first moment he met me—about my quainte, my tail, my contry, my box, my jar, my contrariness, my monosyllable—and he used words, words sexual, I did not understand. He knew I didn’t understand them but that I knew enough to grasp they were sexual. That was what gave him pleasure. He was thirty-five. Twelve and thirty-five. That was a twenty-three years’ difference too.
Continue reading

No comments: