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Cover for The Colony

The Colony

A Novel

Audrey Magee

Hardcover

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Description

In 1979, as violence erupts all over Ireland, two outsiders travel to a small island off the west coast in search of their own answers, despite what it may cost the islanders.

It is the summer of 1979. An English painter travels to a small island off the west coast of Ireland. Mr. Lloyd takes the last leg by curragh, though boats with engines are available and he doesn't much like the sea. But he wants the authentic experience, to be changed by this place, to let its quiet and light fill him, give him room to create.

He doesn't know that a Frenchman follows close behind. Masson has visited the island for many years, studying their language. He is fiercely protective of their isolation; it is essential to exploring his theories of language preservation and identity.

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 ought to be given in return. Over the summer, each of them— from great-grandmother Bean Uí Fhloinn, to widowed Mairéad, to fifteen-year-old James, who is determined to avoid the life of a fisherman—will wrestle with their own values and desires. Meanwhile, all over Ireland, violence is erupting. And there is blame enough to go around.

An expertly woven portrait of character and place, a stirring investigation into yearning to find one's own way, and an unflinchingly political critique of the long, seething cost of imperialism, Audrey Magee's The Colony is a novel that transports, that celebrates beauty and connection, and that reckons with the inevitable ruptures of independence.



Praise For The Colony: A Novel

“A compelling exploration of the intersection of the personal and the political.”
—Bryce Christensen, Booklist (starred review)

The Colony is a brilliant novel, a subtle and thoughtfully calibrated commentary about the nature and balance of power between classes, cultures, genders. There is violence here, but, most impressively, Audrey Magee captures that more insidious cruelty—the kind masked as protection, as manners.”
—Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

“Audrey Magee has written a lyrical, rich, and emotionally powerful novel that artfully weaves a sense of dislocation and isolation with the burdens of history and imperialism. The Colony comes alive like a brooding and beautiful canvas painted off the Irish coast.”
—Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

“A careful interrogation, The Colony expertly explores the mutability of language and art, the triumphs and failures inherent to the process of creation and preservation.”
—Raven Leilani, author of Luster

The Colony is a vivid and memorable book about art, land and language, love and sex, youth and age. Big ideas tread lightly through Audrey Magee’s strong prose.”
—Sarah Moss, author of The Fell

The Colony is brimming with ideas about identity and soul; a canny, challenging, and never less than engrossing read.”
—Lisa McInerney, author of The Rules of Revelation

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374606527, 384pp.

Publication Date: May 17, 2022



About the Author

Audrey Magee is the author of The Undertaking, a novel shortlisted for several prizes including the Women’s Prize for Fiction and France’s Prix du Premier Roman. She lives in Wicklow, Ireland.