Books

Books

Cockfosters-Helen-SimpsonThis collection of short stories deals with ageing, ambition and the patterns of repetition and renewal found in long histories and friendships, turning both a panoramic and a zoom lens on the way we live now.

 

 

In-Flight-Entertainment-Helen-Simpson-2Fifteen short stories, five dealing with climate change and all of them describing lives in transit—solitaries in speeding cars, idealists and escapees on bicycles and trains, and frequent fliers winging their way across continents as they count the cost of the in-flight menu and domestic extremism.  “Very modern Britain,” as a woman says in the story in which she launches her young son into his future.

 

Constitutional-Helen-SimpsonThe stories in this collection chart tantrums, funerals, pregnancy, war and love affairs.  In the title story an hour-long circular heath walk encompasses feats of memory, cryptic crosswords, nonagenarians, and new life.

 

 

Hey-Yeah-Right-Get-A-Life-Helen-SimpsonHelen Simpson’s “breakthrough” collection is a series of loosely linked stories about women at work, at home, on holiday.  

 

 

Eleven stories which explore ideas of independence, solitude, marriage, sex and babies.  Here are tales of young love, from a monologue designed to seduce to the title story where a schoolgirl’s erotic daydreams during Shakespeare homework produce eventual blushes of horror.

 

Four-Bare-Legs-In-A-Bed-Helen-SimpsonHelen Simpson’s first collection of short stories includes a tale of sisterly ingenuity in fourth-century Lycia, a revelatory driving lesson, a heartsick seafarer travelling the coast of Norway, and ‘Labour’, a five-act drama with blank-verse chorus of midwives.

 

a bunch of fives helen simpsonWhy A Bunch of Fives?  Because this selection includes five stories from each of Helen Simpson’s first five short story collections; and also because, starting in 1990, these collections have been published at five-year intervals.  With an introduction by the author.