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photograph: Anna Blundy profiled in the Evening Standard




photograph: Anna Blundy and son

'I was born in 1970 and grew up on my own with my mum while dad flew around the world to wars and summits. It was odd in those days, when most people didn’t go abroad, to be watching the news (in black and white) and taking it personally. Mum had shabby boyfriends and Dad had beautiful and glamorous girlfriends. I hated both lots. I spent most holidays in New York and Washington staying in foreign correspondent flats – not much furniture but lots of bottles of spirits.

I was a show-off at school and was always form captain, always in the plays and musicals. When I was fifteen I fell in love with Communist Russia and a black marketeer I met on Red Square. It was minus twenty and we were followed by the KGB. He lives in Frankfurt now.

I went to Westminster for the sixth form and showed off some more.

My dad was killed at the end of the war in El Salvador in 1989, the beginning of my second year at Oxford. I hadn’t much liked it anyway and after that I just drank until it was over.

I had done O’Level and A’ Level Russian and I did it at university too. Afterwards I moved to Moscow and worked for an American TV company making coffee and fancying the correspondent. In the evenings I sang in a blues band.

Back in London when I was 23 I started writing for newspapers and tried to travel as much as possible. I went to Russia all the time and to America, the Middle East and Africa. I wrote a column for the Times Magazine about my love life for four years. Not so fashionable now, but it was my column and that of Zoe Heller (we started at the same time) that Helen Fielding satirised in Bridget Jones.

In 1997 I went to El Salvador and wrote a book about my dad, Every Time We Say Goodbye, about bereavement, about fathers and daughters. That same year I got married, got pregnant and got a job as Moscow correspondent for the Times. Now I’m still married (surprisingly) and have two children. I write books about Faith Zanetti and am trying to stop the roof leaking on my house in Italy.

Visit the books page to find out about Faith Zanetti

Read Anna meets Faith Zanetti: an interview between author and heroine