Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Ha-Ha

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The Ha-Ha

by Dave King

The Ha-Ha
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 352 pages
    Mar 2006, 368 pages

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Beyond the Book

A ha-ha, or haha (supposedly named for the reaction people had on seeing one), is essentially a large ditch built in place of a fence, to give the appearance that the garden and surrounding lands are as one. It seems that they were introduced into the UK from France in the 18th century by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, or possibly earlier by Charles Bridgeman. They were part of a movement in gardening away from formal gardens to a more 'natural' style of landscaping.

As King says, 'there's an actual ha-ha (in the novel), of course, and it plays a major role in the story, but the symbolic relevance is the presence of a huge unaddressed fissure—traumatic brain injury—in the landscape of the protagonist's life.'

When asked where the idea for his first novel came from he replied, 'My brother Hank was autistic; he was six years older than me....

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