Books

Motherhood

Helen Simpson

Welcome to motherhood – a land of aching fatigue, constant self-sacrifice and thankless servitude, a land of bottomless devotion, small hands and feet like warm pink roses, and velvet kisses. Here is a land where men and women, once carefree and engrossed in work and sex, now try to solve age-old arguments and search fruitlessly for another hour in the day. Perhaps you know this land well, or perhaps you’re entering it for the first time – either way, you need these honest, sharply funny, humane stories from an expert guide.

Selected from Helen Simpson’s short story collections Dear George, Hey Yeah Right Get a Life and Constitutional

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

For the full list of books visit vintageminis.co.uk

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Language by Xiaolu Guo
Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Drinking by John Cheever

Cockfosters

Helen Simpson

Cockfosters is a funny, frank and forceful story collection dealing with ageing, ambition and the patterns of repetition and renewal found in long friendships and marriages. It opens irresistible new windows onto the world from Arizona to Dubai and from Moscow to Berlin. Turning both a panoramic and a zoom lens on the way we live now, these stories range through hitch-hiking in Bohemian forest-land to cresting the waves of the Aegean to the mending of hearts and the recovery of lost property at the end of the Piccadilly Line.

Helen Simpson writes with great warmth, wit and candour about the complexities of modern life, and this new collection shows why she is hailed as one of the best short story writers at work in the world today.

A Bunch of Fives

Helen Simpson

Since the 1990 publication of her first collection, Four Bare Legs in a Bed, Helen Simpson has been hailed as one of the best short story writers at work in the world today. These wonderfully funny and penetrating stories take on the full stretch, from birth to death and everything in between, in writing of remarkable originality and clarity.

In-Flight Entertainment

Helen Simpson

Poignant, funny and perceptive, Helen Simpson's fifth collection of short stories deals with the full stretch, from birth to death and everything in between. A young woman's diary records a blackly farcical escape attempt involving flamenco, murder and wild picnics; two students fall in love then almost talk themselves out of it in an argument about the end of the world; a heartfelt anti-cancer spell is cast in the desire to protect a friend.

Moving effortlessly between tragedy and comedy, from the politics of wanderlust to domestic extremism, this is an intoxicating collection from a master of the genre.

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

Charting tantrums, funerals, pregnancy, war and love affairs, these stories unroll with piercing wit and sympathy. One woman finds grief for her lost lover is assuaged by involvement in some carpentry repair work. Another grows increasingly angry as the grim reaper scythes through her circle, with farcical and tragic results.

Elsewhere, a foreign correspondent receives an unwanted ultimatum, a south London builder avenges the duping of his adored mother, and a chlorinated changing-room encounter brings about a much-needed break with the past. And in the title story, a circular walk on Hampstead Heath leads to revelations involving feats of memory, a Shakespearian heroine, crossword clues, nonagenarians, and new life.

The Ritz London Book Of Afternoon Tea

Helen Simpson

Taking tea is one of the quintessentially English occasions, and who is a greater authority on the subject than the sumptuous Ritz London Hotel? This charming Edwardian-style book captures the essence of this traditional British pastime, and provides us with all the expertise on the ceremony as well as the recipes. Stories about the legendary afternoon teas at The Ritz and fascinating details about the history of tea drinking are complemented with passages from such diverse writers as Charles Dickens to Oscar Wilde. Over fifty recipes are included for different kinds of afternoon tea specialities, from delicate sandwiches, strawberry shortcake and rose petal jam, to crumpets and muffins for hearty teas in front of a roaring fire. The author gives an infallible guide to the many blends of tea and their suitability to particular occasions. Beautifully presented and delightfully illustrated, this book is the perfect gift for tea drinkers everywhere.

Hey Yeah Right Get A Life

Helen Simpson

This collection, Helen Simpson's third and best yet, is a loosely linked set of stories about women - at work, at home and on holiday - that is poignant, perceptive, often sad and frequently funny.

Dear George And Other Stories

Helen Simpson

In her third collection of short stories, Helen Simpson continues to explore ideas of independence, solitude, marriage, sex and babies with her characteristic blend of comedy and lyricism. Here are tales of young love - successful or thwarted, intense or comic.

From a wedding day for one, through the knotty problems of babies, their conception, arrival and impact on adult lives, to a Lothario receiving his just deserts, and the title story, where a schoolgirl's erotic daydreams during Shakespeare homework produce eventual blushes of horror.

The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories

Angela Carter (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HELEN SIMPSON

From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

Four Bare Legs In a Bed

Helen Simpson

Brilliant, funny and tragic, Four Bare Legs in a Bed is an outstanding and invigorating collection of short stories. In Simpson's uniquely imaginative and sensuous voice, we hear of the mixed blessings of independence and marriage, of sex and babies.

By the winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award.

Biography

Helen Simpson's sixth short-story collection, Cockfosters, follows Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), Dear George (1995), Hey Yeah Right Get a Life (2000), Constitutional (2005) and In-Flight Entertainment (2010). A Bunch of Fives: Selected Stories (2012) includes five stories from each of her first five collections. She has received the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award. She lives in London.

Helen Simpson's sixth short-story collection, Cockfosters, follows Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), Dear George (1995), Hey Yeah Right Get a Life (2000),Constitutional (2005) and In-Flight Entertainment (2010). A Bunch of Fives: Selected Stories (2012) includes five stories from each of her first five collections. She has received the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award. She lives in London.
Helen Simpson's sixth short-story collection, Cockfosters, follows Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), Dear George (1995), Hey Yeah Right Get a Life (2000),Constitutional (2005) and In-Flight Entertainment (2010). A Bunch of Fives: Selected Stories (2012) includes five stories from each of her first five collections. She has received the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award. She lives in London.
Helen Simpson's sixth short-story collection, Cockfosters, follows Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), Dear George (1995), Hey Yeah Right Get a Life (2000),Constitutional (2005) and In-Flight Entertainment (2010). A Bunch of Fives: Selected Stories (2012) includes five stories from each of her first five collections. She has received the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award. She lives in London.