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The Aids Memorial

Books, Fiction : Bigotry and other crimes

Par Alex Clark - 3 mn

Out 052 693
A club for American servicemen, 1945. Getty Images

A bleak Northern Irish town is the setting for Eoin McNamee’s shifting novel of dark secrets

The Vogue
Eoin McNamee
Faber, £12.99, pp272

Anna Burns might recently have become the first Northern Irish writer in history to win the Booker prize , but the six counties have long boasted a roster of superb and subtle novelists, among them David Park and Eoin McNamee, the latter best known for Resurrection Man and the Blue trilogy. With The Vogue , a desolate tale of secrecy and repression set in a depopulated coastal town, McNamee both conjures the braided ghost stories of the past and gestures towards many of their legacies, including the fate of unmarried mothers, institutional cruelty and the suppression of personal history.

As we move from an army camp in Shepton Mallet in 1944 , where the black American serviceman Gabriel Hooper awaits a court martial and possible hanging, to the town of Morne – in both the 1970 s and at the tu...