The Zebra and Lord Jones

Anna Vaught

Renard Press



ISBN: 9781804470367


Publication date: 27 September 2023

Rights: UK & Commonwealth



A listless aristocrat, Lord Jones, finds himself in London during the Blitz, attending to insurance matters. A zebra and her foal, having escaped from the London Zoo during a bombing, cross his path, and he decides to take them back to his estate in Pembrokeshire. Little loved by his fascist-sympathiser parents, something in Lord Jones softens, and he realises he is lost, just like these zebras.

The arrival of the zebras sparks a new lease of life on the Pembrokeshire estate, and it is not only Lord Jones but the families his dynasty has displaced that benefit from the transformation. Full of heart and mischief, The Zebra and Lord Jones is a hopeful exploration of class, wealth and privilege, grief, colonialism, the landscape, the wars that men make, the families we find for ourselves, and why one lonely man stole a zebra in September 1940 – or perhaps why she stole him.

‘I loved The Zebra and Lord Jones – it’s quirky, touching, original and heartfelt; a real breath of fresh air in the publishing landscape.’ — Joanne Harris

‘The pages of Saving Lucia are so joyous and full of life that they seem about to flap away.’ — Andrew Gallix, Irish Times

Anna Vaught

Anna Vaught is an English teacher, mentor and author of several books, including the 2020 novel Saving Lucia (Bluemoose) and short-fiction collection, Famished. 2023 saw Saving Lucia published to national acclaim in Italy as Bang Bang Mussolini, as well as the publication of the memoir These Envoys of Beauty, the magical-realism novel The Zebra and Lord Jones, a teaching book, The Alchemy: A Guide to Gentle Productivity for Writers, and The Curae, an anthology of short prose from the winning entrants to the prize she established in 2023 for writer-carers (all three of which published by Renard Press). Next year sees her first essay collection, To Melt the Stars. Anna’s shorter and multi-genre works are widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies. She has been a columnist for Mslexia and the Bookseller. With a background in secondary English, mentoring with young people and community arts, Anna is now a guest university lecturer, tutor for Jericho Writers and teaches occasionally at secondary level. She works alongside chronic illness, and is a passionate campaigner for mental health provision and SEND support for young people. She is a PhD candidate at York St John from December 2023–24, undertaking a PhD by Published Works on Magical Realism and Trauma, foregrounding her own work. Her title begins with a quotation from her memoir: ‘Go there on a wing in your imagination: Magical Realism and imagination as therapeutic writing in Saving Lucia and These Envoys of Beauty.’ She is currently writing an extended nonfiction study, A Cultural and Emotional History of Lipstick, and completing a new novel, All the Days I did not Live.