• Author: Anna Hope
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  • Anna Hope with - used - Novice Hame prosthetic at a convention
  • Anna Hope as Novice Hame (Gridlock)

The Ballroom: A Novel


t’s hard to believe this is a debut novel; Anna Hope’s prose is so accomplished, her plot so neatly but intriguingly drawn, and the details of the period so realistically rendered without seeming overbearing or forced. Indeed, it’s a masterclass in historical fiction, the like of which, outside the pages of a Sarah Waters novel, one rarely sees.

Anna Hope’s remarkable novel Wake is newly out in paperback, and I urge anyone who has not read it to get themselves a copy. I read this novel in hardback, something like eight months ago, it was May, the sun was shining and I began it sitting in my garden. As I began to read of the soldiers who in 1920 were tasked with the retrieval of the remains of the Unknown Soldier, the birds were in good voice, as if singing a little eulogy of their own.


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Anna Hope studied English at Oxford, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and then received an M.A. in creative writing at Birkbeck. She lives in London.