Ilona Bannister

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Little Prisons

book | Jun 2022
World excluding US → Hodder and Stoughton (Ed. Jocasta Hamilton)

In a gentrifying corner of London, four women live in their flats in a new building. They live side-by-side as strangers yet they know each other intimately, the way people in big cities know their neighbours – through grocery deliveries, trips to the laundry, glimpses in windows, and overheard conversations in corridors. Penny can never leave her flat because of her agoraphobia triggered by the loss of her daughter. Carla, an American expat with two children, can never leave her controlling husband. Mable, a lonely pensioner and devout Jehovah’s Witness, can never leave the religion that’s taken everything. And Woman, a housekeeper and nanny for the family on the second floor, can never leave the building because her employers – and her fear of them – will not allow it. She’s been trafficked and forced to work against her will.

As lockdown looms over London, each woman will try to escape her private purgatory, through her perseverance, courage, faith, or strength. To succeed, they will each need to reach beyond the anonymity of urban life to uncover the incredible humanity that thrives within it and to connect with each other through small kindnesses and great compassion. Little Prisons is a story of migration, mental illness, and the sacrifices of mothers. It is about what happens when we take time to look at the people who we never really see. It is the story of women with invisible lives and the enormous strength they possess.


Liz Dennis manages the translation rights for Little Prisons

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Hodder and Stoughton.

Film Rights


Contact Luke Speed for more information

Alice Lutyens

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Zoe Sandler
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Translation Rights
Liz Dennis

Email Liz Dennis