Shortlisted 2011

The Spy Game

Georgina Harding is the author of the novel The Solitude of Thomas Cave (Bloomsbury, 2007) and two works of non-fiction: Tranquebar: A Season in South India and In Another Europe.

The Spy Game

The Spy Game

Georgina Harding

Published by Bloomsbury Buy this book

On a freezing January morning in 1961, eight-year-old Anna’s mother disappears into the fog. That same morning, a spy case breaks in the news. Obsessed by stories of espionage, Anna’s brother Peter begins to construct a theory that their mother, a refugee from eastern Germany, was an undercover spy and might even still be alive.

As life returns to normal, Anna struggles to sort fact from fantasy. Did her mother have a secret life? And how do you know who a person was once she is dead? 

Praise for The Spy Game:

'It is the calm quietness of her writing that is so appealing – she lays an image down so gently that it floats in the mind long after' Margaret Forster

‘Harding skilfully weaves together history, memory and imagination in this haunting and beautifully written novel about how, chameleon-like, we construct our own identities’
Daily Mail

‘Elegant and intelligent ... Should confirm her reputation as a writer of unusual and persuasive talent’ Scotsman


‘Many writers, from Harper Lee to Suzanne Berne, have explored children’s skewed view of the adult world. Georgina Harding has equalled their take ... Elegant ... Lucid, seamless’ Independent on Sunday