Who is Anna Is she Anna-May Gates, the war-time evacuee who encounters neglect and unwitting abuse on a Welsh farm The reticent, dutiful daughter of her foster-mother, Crystal Giles's shy child-bride Conscientious mother and housewife Or Daniel's undemanding but sophisticated mistress It takes catastrophe for Anna to emerge as an individual, claiming her own identity. Nina Bawden, as ever both acute and generous, delves skilfully into character and offers the richly textured story of a woman's life and stratagems, and of the flawed, kindly people who surround her.
Nina Bawden (1925-2012) was one of Britain's best-loved writers for both adults and children. Several of her children's books - Carrie's War, a Phoenix Award winner;The Peppermint Pig, which won the Guardian Fiction Award; and Keeping Henry - have become contemporary classics. She wrote over forty novels, slightly more than half of which are for adults, and she was shortlisted for the 1987 Man Booker Prize for Circles of Deceit. She received the prestigious S T Dupont Golden Pen Award for a lifetime's contribution to literature in 2004, and in 2010 The Birds on the Trees was shortlisted for the Lost Booker of 1970.