Review: Audrey Magee's The Colony is a beautifully realised lament for lost language

By Ian McFarlane
February 19 2022 - 12:00am
Author Audrey Magee. Picture: Supplied
Author Audrey Magee. Picture: Supplied
  • The Colony, by Audrey Magee. Faber, $39.99.

Irish history is tainted by tragedy, providing poetry, myth, and melancholic enchantment for many people, including myself. Audrey Magee was born in Ireland and lives in Wicklow. This is her second novel, her first, The Undertaking, having been shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, for France's Festival du Premier Roman and for the Irish Book Awards. The Undertaking has already been translated into 10 languages and adapted for film. A spectacular start for a writer that might threaten to set the bar dauntingly high for the supposedly difficult - psychologically as well as professionally - second novel. I'm pleased to report that Magee clears this hurdle with stylish ease.

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