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Simpson, Helen

stories women century relationships

(British, 1957– )

Simpson is a former fashion journalist. In her first collection of short stories, Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), a number of women reveal the inadequacies of their relationships with men. Ranging from the fourth century to the present, Simpson's women are patronized (like the student treated like a pet by her professor in ‘Zoe and the Pedagogues’), despairing (like the seventeenth-century woman made pregnant by her lover in ‘Good Friday 1633’), or simply dissatisfied (like the secretary trying to relieve the tedium of her relationship in ‘The Bed’). Simpson's often bleak view of the relationships between men and women is tempered by a witty delivery, and at their best her stories are entertaining and full of insights. Dear George and Other Stories (1995) follows in the same vein.

Helen Fielding, Fay Weldon  WB

Sinclair, Andrew [next] [back] Simpson, Dorothy

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