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The Colony
Cover of The Colony
The Colony
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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 with his faithful rendition of its speech, the language he hopes to preserve.
But the people who live here on this rock - three miles wide and half-a-mile long - have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken and what is given in return. Over the summer each of the women and men in the household this French and Englishman join is forced to question what they value and what they desire. At the end of the summer, as the visitors head home, there will be a reckoning.
'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
The Colony is brimming with ideas about identity and soul; a canny, challenging, and never less than engrossing read.' Lisa McInerney

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 with his faithful rendition of its speech, the language he hopes to preserve.
But the people who live here on this rock - three miles wide and half-a-mile long - have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken and what is given in return. Over the summer each of the women and men in the household this French and Englishman join is forced to question what they value and what they desire. At the end of the summer, as the visitors head home, there will be a reckoning.
'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
The Colony is brimming with ideas about identity and soul; a canny, challenging, and never less than engrossing read.' Lisa McInerney

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About the Author-
  • AUDREY MAGEE was born in Ireland and lives in Wicklow. Her first novel, The Undertaking, was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, for France's Festival du Premier Roman and for the Irish Book Awards. It was also nominated for the Dublin Literary Award and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The Undertaking has been translated
    into ten languages and is being adapted for film.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 14, 2022
    Irish journalist and novelist Magee (The Undertaking) returns with the lyrical and trenchant story of an English landscape painter who visits a small Irish island during the Troubles. It’s the summer of 1979, and an artist known only as Mr. Lloyd leaves London for a rented cottage on the island. Soon after, Jean-Pierre Masson, a French linguist, arrives to study Gaelic, a language he calls “ancient and beautiful” and wants to keep alive. From the beginning, the two clash, sniping at one another and arguing over whose work is more important. Meanwhile, the locals, wary of their guests’ colonial prejudices, have their own ideas of what’s worth cherishing. James Gillan, 15, wants nothing to do with a life of fishing and hopes to be an artist. Lloyd, struck by the boy’s natural talent, promises him a life of fame back in London. Complications ensue after Lloyd falls in love with James’s widowed mother, Mairéad. Throughout, Magee weaves in bulletin-like vignettes of sectarian violence, such as an IRA bombing in South Armagh, which stand in stark contrast to the guests’ fantasies of an untouched world. Even more enriching is Magee’s depiction of James, who critiques Lloyd’s mediocre efforts in internal monologues (“You’re not understanding the light at all... it buries underneath, diving between the waves as a bird might, lighting the water from below as well as above”). It’s a delicate balance, and one the author pulls off brilliantly.

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    Faber & Faber
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Colony
Audrey Magee
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