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The Hot Year

By Anne Piper

The Hot Year was a wartime year…

It was also the year in Lucy Slade’s life which took her from St. John’s Wood to Delhi and Rangoon and back again, changed and a little chastened, but at heart wiser and gladder than when she had set out.

It seemed like two hundred years, so much had happened, marrying Miles Spender and meeting Steve McMahon to begin with. Then, the endless predicaments in which Lucy’s impulsive, scatter-brained nature landed her in India that was still British, and the continual round of parties with the Forces which it was Lucy’s patriotic duty to attend.

Anne Piper¬†was born in Llandaff, Cardiff. She studied English at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she met David Piper – the later novelist and director of the National Portrait Gallery, Fitzwilliam Museum and the Ashmolean – whom she married in 1945 after his release from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. A socialite and activist, she was a lead participator in the nuclear disarmament marches on Aldermaston in the ’50s and ’60s. Between 1952 and 1979, she published nine novels, one of which, Yes, Giorgio (1961) was made into a film starring Luciano Pavarotti. Her play The Man-Eaters was produced at the Bristol Old Vic in 1959. She died in 2017 at the age of 96.

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