Children's Laureate 2001-2003
Carnegie Medal 1989, 1992
Whitbread Award 1993, 1996
Guardian Fiction Award 1990
The Road of Bones is a pretty dark novel.
Like everyone else, I've become very interested in how the political climate, and particularly the rules, seem to be changing so fast. I studied politics at university and suddenly I thought: I want to write a novel about how politics actually work. How, behind the day-to-day stuff, you have these shifting ideologies, these sort of beliefs and panics and fears that can somehow get things changed, bit by bit, till you have a society you could never have imagined and you don't really want.
Books about ideas can be pretty heavy going, so I've made it into an adventure-escape story, a massive journey, almost a sort of personal quest. It's set in a sort-of Russia, in a sort-of nineteen-thirties, under a Stalin-type leader. We follow Yuri, a young boy who's far too bright not to notice all the changes that are going on around him and who soon falls foul of the power of the state.
I hope it's exciting. I've already been accused of quite a few ruined fingernails. But I think the most important thing is that I would hope that anyone who reads it, most particularly curious and intelligent young people, would have far more of the sense of how politics actually work. They would see it in a wider perspective and with much, much clearer eyes. Which can't be bad for any of us, I think.
This is a transcript of what Anne told Meet the Author about The Road of Bones.
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