Held cover
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**The international bestseller**
**A Guardian Book of the Autumn 2023**
**Chosen as a book of the year by the independent.co.uk**

'Michaels's writing continues to stand head and shoulders above most other fiction' OBSERVER
'Through luminous moments of chance, change, and even grace, Michaels shows us our humanity' MARGARET ATWOOD
'Michaels is exceptionally open to beauty' GUARDIAN

The triumphant new novel from the author of the Orange Prize-winning Fugitive Pieces: a soaring and luminous story of chance and change


1917. On a battlefield near the River Escaut, John lies in the aftermath of a blast, unable to move or feel his legs. Struggling to focus his thoughts, he is lost to memory – a chance encounter in a pub by a railway, a hot bath with his lover on a winter night, his childhood on a faraway coast – as the snow falls.

1920. John has returned from war to North Yorkshire, near another river – alive, but not still whole. Reunited with Helena, an artist, he reopens his photography business and endeavours to keep on living. But the past erupts insistently into the present, as ghosts begin to surface in his pictures: ghosts whose messages he cannot understand.

So begins a narrative that spans four generations, moments of connection and consequence igniting and re-igniting as the century unfolds. In luminous moments of desire, comprehension, longing, transcendence, the sparks fly upward, working their transformations decades later.

Held is a novel like no other, by a writer at the height of her powers: affecting and intensely beautiful, full of mystery, wisdom and compassion.

'I am blown away by the scale, beauty, weave and thinking of this book ... It dances with words, time and ideas in a way that seems to reinvent everything I know about the novel' RACHEL JOYCE

Product details

Published 09 Nov 2023
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 240
ISBN 9781526659118
Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing
Dimensions 216 x 135 mm
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Anne Michaels

Anne Michaels is a novelist and poet. Her books ar…

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