The Anna Papers by Ellen Gilchrist - review by Lynne Truss

Lynne Truss

Prose Clothes

The Anna Papers


Faber & Faber 296pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

For those of us who can't afford our own sensory deprivation units, Ellen Gilchrist's The Anna Papers is a cheap but effective substitute. Instead of going to all the bother and expense of suspending yourself in a vat of lukewarm saline solution, and excluding every vestige of light and sound, now all you need is a small Faber book and you can deprive your brain of any kind of stimulation – instantly. You don't even need a towel.

The Anna Papers is a tedious story of a woman writer and her clothes; her relatives and their clothes; and her lovers and some more clothes. Whenever a new character is presented to us, and we ask, 'What does he look like? What's on his mind? Does he have an

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