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no bones, anna burns, flamingo paperback 2002
Reviews

From: roxy
Category: Books
Date: 07 May 2003

Review

No Bones, Anna Burns Flamingo paperback 2002 I picked up this book almost at random in Waterstones and would’ve set it down again if it hadn’t been fluffed on the back by someone I knew. It loitered in the flat for a few weeks, uninvitingly full of Belfast, a place bigger in my past than my present. But reading it was a revelation, there were women in this book that survived ‘the troubles’ unpatronised: Vomiting,bleeding, ranting and fighting, but unsainted and unremarkably sexed. Having been brought up in the leafy sub-suburban countryside of Northern Ireland the Ardoyne of the 70’s is as foreign to me as to most people. The wee milly’s in Bay City Roller trousers a species apart - as comprehensible as Peckham kids might seem to kids in Chelsea. I left Northern Ireland quite painlessly at 17 whilst the narrator of the book left it later, much shat-upon and still alive. She visits from London and still has people she cares about there, hovers uncomfortably between being patronizing and getting sucked back in. It is a great book about someone managing to remain human. It’s an unusual book in that the narrator is emotionally feasible and ordinarily female. It is also very Northern Irish and read-aloud slapstick in uncomfortable places. roxalinerose@yahoo.co.uk

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