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June 8, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Fiction
  • In Conversation


Alex Hyde
Alex Hyde Violets 3x2


Corringham Library, St Johns Way
Corringham, SS17 7LJ
£7 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Jobseekers)

Set in the dying days of World War II and ranging from the Welsh hills to Naples, Hyde’s extraordinary debut intertwines the lives of two women named Violet in a profoundly moving meditation on motherhood, loss and healing. Alex Hyde will talk about her daring first novel which is a fictional reimagining of her father’s story, drawing on family mythology and his personal archives.


Venue: Corringham Library, St John’s Way, Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope, SS17 7LJ

Date and time: Wednesday 8th June, 7.00pm

Tickets: £8 / £7 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Jobseekers)

Box Office: Book online or via Mercury Theatre 01206 573948 (10am – 8pm Tuesday to Saturday)




A young woman, Violet, lies in a hospital bed in the closing days of the war. Her pregnancy has gone and she is no longer able to conceive. With her husband deployed to the Pacific Front and her friends caught up in transitory love affairs, she must find a way to put herself back together.

In a small, watchful town in the Welsh valleys, another Violet contemplates the fate she shares with her unborn child. Unwed and at a loose end, an overseas posting offers a temporary way out. Plunged into the heat and disorder of Naples, her body begins to reveal the responsibility it carries, even as she is drawn into the burnished circle of a charismatic new friend, Maggie.

Between these two Violets, sung into being like a babe in a nursery rhyme: a son. As their lives intertwine, a story of women’s courage emerges, suffused with power, lyricism and beauty, from an exhilarating new voice in British fiction.

‘I loved this moving, graceful novel… exquisitely affecting’ – Megan Hunter

‘Stunning and original… Written in pristine prose, it reminded me of the possibilities of language’ – Elizabeth Macneal

‘A novel of taut symmetry and dissonance… Alex Hyde’s prose is rhythmically acute and emotionally layered. This is a subtle and daring book’ – Margo Jefferson

‘Beautiful, inventive, and deeply moving… captured my heart and imagination’ – Liz Berry


Guardian Review of Violets, A Daring Debut: theguardian.com

Buy a copy of Violets from bookshop.org


About the Author

Alex Hyde (c) Matthew Dyas
Alex Hyde, born in Birmingham in 1981, is a former Daunt’s bookseller who now lectures at University College London. Violets, her first novel, is a fictional reimagining of her father’s story, drawing on both family mythology and his personal archives. She lives with her family in South London.
Photo of Alex Hyde © Matthew Dyas
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Corringham Library
St Johns Way
Corringham, SS17 7LJ
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Visit accessable.co.uk for all disability and access information about Corringham Library

Hearing Loop: Essex Book Festival has a mobile Roger Pen hearing loop system, which needs to be booked by individuals in advance at least five days before the event. If you would like to use the Roger Pen email claire@essexbookfestival.org.uk