(Victor, Gollancz, 1983)
First of a series of novels about Soviet Russia. The theme of improvisation, which I introduce here, reflected my own sense, still, that in writing a novel I was on a high wire and ready to fall off, since I didn't consider myself a traditional novelist, and still don't.

The TLS asked me to review an Anthology of Armenian Poetry, edited by Diana der Hovanessian. I fell in love with the poetry, and was moved by the tragic history of Armenia. This was one starting point for this novel; the other was Pushkin's 'It sails. Where shall we sail?...' The last line of his poem 'Autumn'.

'A deep and serious exploration of the poetic impulse and its relation to the historical world... Confirms Thomas's fluency and force, indeed his status as one of our best contemporary writers.'
Malcolm Bradbury, Vogue

'Fascinating and impressive... THE WHITE HOTEL added a new dimension to contemporary British fiction. ARARAT proves that it was no fluke.
--Sunday Times