The Colony by Audrey Magee

The Colony by Audrey Magee

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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 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.


'I've always believed that good fiction can go to the beating heart of human reality in ways more likely to resonate with a reader than any textbook. A good novel strengthens empathy as well as the imagination and encourages us to see another world from a perspective that travels beyond our own interests. And this novel is better than good. Its beautifully realised lament for lost language and cultural sustainability has universal relevance." - Canberra Times

"Intelligent and provocative . . . What a relief it is to find a novel that treats the reader as a grown-up, that is fresh without chasing literary fashion, provocative but not shouty, and idiosyncratic but fully satisfying from the strange comedy of its opening pages to its decisive conclusion . . . 
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." - 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

Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN:  978-0571367610
Pages: 384