The Colony, Audrey Magee ( Feb 2023, paperback)


He handed the easel to the boatman, reaching down the pier wall towards the sea. Mr Lloyd has decided to travel to the island by boat without engine - the authentic experience. Unbeknownst to him, Mr Masson will also soon be arriving for the summer.

Both will strive to encapsulate the truth of this place - one in his paintings, the other by capturing its speech, the language he hopes to preserve. But the people who live on this rock - three miles long and half-a-mile wide - have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken and what is given in return. Soft summer days pass, and the islanders are forced to question what they value and what they desire.

As the autumn beckons, and the visitors head home, there will be a reckoning. ''Beautifully written.' STELLA, The Telegraph'The Colony contains multitudes - on families, on men and women, on rural communities - with much of it just visible on the surface, like the flicker of a smile or a shark in the water.' John Self, The Times'Austere and stark . .

. a story about language and identity, about art, oppression, freedom and colonialism. The Colony is a novel about big, important things.' Financial Times'The Colony is a beautiful, haunting and incredibly powerful book; a reading experience unlike any other, so vivid you can see it all unfold in front of your eyes.

Audrey Magee has a true storytelling gift. Absolutely mesmerising.' FIONA SCARLETT

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