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Helen Simpson Biography

(1958?– ), Four Bare Legs in a Bed, Flesh and Grass, The Strawberry Tree

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Seven Against Thebes (Hepta epi Thēbas; Septem contra Thebas) to Sir Walter Scott and Scotland

British writer, born in Bristol, educated at Oxford University; she grew up in London and worked for several years as a journalist. Her first collection of stories, Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), was acclaimed for the unsparing humour with which she dissected the lives of women, their domestic turmoils, and the realities and fantasies of their sexual relationships. The same year saw the publication of a novella, Flesh and Grass, a suspenseful comedy with a vegetarian heroine; this appeared with Ruth Rendell's The Strawberry Tree under the general title Unguarded Hours. Simpson was listed as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists before she actually produced a novel. Her second book, Dear George and Other Stories (1995), explores, with comedy and verbal flair, issues similar to her earlier collection, with increasing confidence and a subtler, more restrained technique.

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