Anna Lawrence Pietroni was born and brought up in the Black Country. She gained a First Class degree in English from Oxford University. She was training to be a prison governor before she turned to writing full-time. She lives in Oxford.
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Anna Lawrence Pietroni in her own words about writing, prison, and embracing her roots:
Ive felt compelled to write since I could hold a pencil, but always stalled after a paragraph or two. Drawn to the symbols and structure of fairy tale, I stubbornly rejected the advice given to all aspiring writers: write what you know. I didnt want to write what I knew. I didnt even like the things I knew. I lived on the edge of the heavily industrial Black Country in the English Midlands, where my family has lived for generations. Id had a defensive pride in my town, Halesowen - we had a Norman church, two Tudor black-and-whites, Industrial Heritage - but when I won a place at an exclusive high school in the city, this pride Id taken in my roots soon evaporated and I would never, I was certain, write about my town. By the time I went to Oxford, I was all too glad to leave it far behind.
I studied English Literature at University College, Oxford, and was delighted and intimidated in equal measure by the literary endeavors of my predecessors. I had rooms beside the Percy Bysshe Shelley Memorial: a languid, drowned figure carved in marble. Compared with the works of genius on the reading ...
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