In-flight Entertainment

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Jonathan Cape, 2010 - Fiction - 132 pages
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Poignant, perceptive and dazzling, in this, her long awaited new collection, Helen Simpson offers acute portraits of lives in transition: of changes for the better, lives stalled and in freefall; of love, loss, and sudden revelations. Warm and funny, the stories are also threaded with a sense of anxiety and fear: of growing old, of commitment, and, most worryingly, of the growing threat to the environment. In the title story, Alan, on a transatlantic flight, is delighted by an unusual upgrade to a first class seat, but is to find his journey disturbed by portents of doom; a family discussion over the fate of a trapped squirrel unexpectedly veers to nearly reveal a shocking truth; and a boy contemplates a parallel life after asking his mother for help with his creative writing homework. Elsewhere Patrick, newly deaf and belligerent, is forced to re-examine his life with the help of a supernatural hearing aid; a profound, heartfelt and distracted prayer is offered for a friend's health and safety; and in 'The Festival of the Immortals', two old friends look back on their lives with joy and regret, as they wait to heckle Charlotte Bront . Moving deftly between the domestic and the fantastical, from tragedy to comedy, this is a remarkable collection from a master of the genre; each story brilliantly realised, beautifully captured and utterly engrossing.

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IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Stories

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Short and sharp, the latest stories from the award-winning British author are as pointed as ever, with many of them pointed toward imminent ecological disaster.After establishing her reputation with ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Helen Simpson is the author of Four Bare Legs in a Bed, Dear George, Hey Yeah Right Get a Life, and Constitutional. In 1991 she was chosen as the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and won the Somerset Maugham Award. In 1993 she was chosen as one of Granta's twenty Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in London.

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