Polly Samson - Perfect Lives - Little, Brown Book Group

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  • Hardback £15.99
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    • ISBN:9781860499920
    • Publication date:04 Nov 2010
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
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    • ISBN:9780748122745
    • Publication date:04 Nov 2010

Perfect Lives

By Polly Samson

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

* The stunningly well received short story collection from the ever-brilliant Polly Samson, out now in paperback

In an English seaside town, lovers and children, young men and middle-aged women, weave in and out of each other's lives and stories.

A mother is tormented by her daughter's tattoo; another only pretends to love her baby. A wife stalks her husband and his new lover; a broken egg through a letterbox tells a story that will not go away; the cat thinks he knows best. Threaded throughout are longings for love and poignant disappointments, surprising pleasures and temptations. Some will fall but some, like the small boy at the circus who sees his babysitter fly past on a trapeze wearing little more than a blue bra and spangles, will retain their feeling of awe.

PERFECT LIVES, follows Polly Samson's rapturously received first collection, LYING IN BED. They are rueful, knowing, witty, poignant, bashful, bold. Her genius is in the nuance.

Biographical Notes

Polly Samson was born in London. Her previous collection, Lying in Bed, was followed by a novel, Out of the Picture. She also writes lyrics.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781860499937
  • Publication date: 05 May 2011
  • Page count: 240
  • Imprint: Virago
Virago

The Doll: Short Stories

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier

'I want to know if men realise when they are insane. Sometimes I think that my brain cannot hold together, it is filled with too much horror - too much despair . . . I cannot sleep, I cannot close my eyes without seeing his damned face. If only it had been a dream.'In 'The Doll', a waterlogged notebook is washed ashore. Its pages tell a dark story of obsession and jealousy. But the fate of its narrator is a mystery.Most of the stories in this haunting collection were written early in Daphne du Maurier's career - when she was still in her early twenties - yet they display her mastery of atmosphere, tension and intrigue and reveal a cynicism far beyond her years.

Virago

Lying In Bed

Polly Samson
Authors:
Polly Samson

Do you cover up or reveal it all; seek revenge or just reassurance; let the truth be naked as the day or cloaked in a night-time story? The men and women of Polly Samson's debut fiction all have stories to tell, pasts to forget, futures to forge. Manipulative or meek, used or using, all are aware of the power of truth, deception and little white lies to get what they want or sometimes what they deserve. Some are concerned with the economies of speech, those little 'kindnesses' which protect our loved ones but really ourselves; some investigate the warped logic which adults serve out to children to keep them 'innocent'; all are concerned with the beds we make and the lies we tell in them. . .

Virago

Out Of The Picture

Polly Samson
Authors:
Polly Samson

Quite unlike her fair stepsisters, Lizzie is dark and secretive: 'Just like your father' says her mother. But what was her father like? Photos of him are hidden away; snatches of overheard conversation between her mother and her stepfather deepen the mystery. Only her best friend Savannah - also abandoned by her father when she was a baby - knows what it feels like to wonder, to try and piece together an earlier story. But when events propel Lizzie alone to London she stops wondering and starts searching...Beautifully evoking the ache of childhood loss, the scrappy joys of chaotic families, and the hurt and relief of understanding, OUT OF THE PICTURE reveals Polly Samson's talent for laying bare the uncomfortable truths that lie just under the skin - in every family, in every secret.

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over eighty books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.

Ali Smith

Ali Smith was born in Inverness and lives in Cambridge. She is the author of three collections of stories and three novels. Hotel World was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize in 2001 and her latest novel, The Accidental, won the 2006 Whitbread Novel Award. Ali reviews regularly for the Guardian, the Scotsman and the TLS.

Amanda Jennings

AMANDA JENNINGS read History of Art at Cambridge University. She has worked at the BBC as a researcher and assistant producer. Married with three daughters, she lives in Henley. She is currently writing her next novel.

Angela Thirkell

Angela Thirkell (1890-1961) was the eldest daughter of John William Mackail, a Scottish classical scholar and civil servant, and Margaret Burne-Jones. Her relatives included the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin, and her grandfather was J. M. Barrie. She was educated in London and Paris, and began publishing articles and stories in the 1920s. In 1931 she brought out her first book, a memoir entitled Three Houses, and in 1933 her comic novel High Rising - set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, borrowed from Trollope - met with great success. She went on to write nearly thirty Barsetshire novels, as well as several further works of fiction and non-fiction. She was twice married and had four children.

Barbara Comyns

Barbara Comyns (1909-92) was born in Bidford-on-Avon in Warwickshire. She was an artist and writer, worked in advertising, dealt in old cars and antiques, bred poodles and developed property. She was twice married, and she and her second husband lived in Spain for eighteen years, returning to the UK in the early 1970s. She is the author of eleven books, including Sisters by a River (1947), Our Spoons Came from Woolworths (1950), The Vet's Daughter (1959), The Skin Chairs (1962) and A Touch of Mistletoe (1967). She died in Shropshire in 1992.

Beatrice Meier

Beatrice Meier was born in Germany and studied literary translation at Düsseldorf University. She then went on to complete a scriptwriting programme at Munich Film School in 2002-03, and attended the Cologne International Film School in 2006. She won the Best Screenplay Award at the German Film Festival in Ludwigshafen in 2013 for the feature film Offside Trap, which was screened at festivals, the European Parliament and at trade union events. The Vintage Springtime Club is her first novel. A German television adaptation was broadcast in spring 2015. Beatrice Meier lives and works in Strasbourg.

Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell is the creator of SEX AND THE CITY and has been described by the EVENING STANDARD as a 'genius'. The OBSERVER compared her to Nancy Mitford and the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH to 'Jane Austen with a Martini.'

Christopher Brookmyre

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING, which established him as one of Britain's leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than one million copies in the UK alone.

Danielle Pearl

Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who---luckily---doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.To learn more, visit:DaniellePearl.comFacebook.com/daniellepearlauthorTwitter.com @danipearlauthor

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

Derek Wilson

DEREK WILSON is a renowned Tudor historian. A graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, he has written over 50 critically acclaimed books including A Brief History of the Circumnavigators, and The Uncrowned Kings of England, as well as recent biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein.He is a writer and presenter for radio and television and is also the founder of the Cambridge History festival. He lives in North Devon. Visit his website: www.derekwilson.com

E. L. Doctorow

E. L. Doctorow's novels include Andrew's Brain, Homer and Langley, The March, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World's Fair, Billy Bathgate and The Waterworks. Among his honours are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. He died in July 2015.

Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin was raised by parents who took her to the library like it was church. She suspects that is why she became a writer. Her career began at age fourteen when an angry letter to her local newspaper about a Guns 'n' Roses concert resulted in a job as a music critic. Over eight novels for adults and young people, she has written about female soldiers in Iraq, mafia princesses in retro-future New York City, teenage girls in the afterlife, talking dogs, amnesiacs, and the difficulties of loving one person over many years. Her last novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, was a New York Times bestseller.

J. P. Donleavy

J. P. Donleavy was born in New York City in 1926 and educated there andat Trinity College, Dublin. He wrote ten novels, two novellas and numerous non-fiction titles. Many of his novels have been adapted for the stage. J. P. Donleavy died in September 2017.

Jeffrey Cranor

Jeffrey Cranor co-writes the hit podcast, novel and touring live show Welcome to Night Vale. He has also written more than one hundred short plays with the New York Neo-Futurists, co-wrote and co-performed a two-man show about time travel with Joseph, and collaborated with choreographer (also wife) Jillian Sweeney to create three full-length dance pieces. Jeffrey lives in New York State.

Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of A Visit From The Goon Squad, The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her non-fiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.

Jenny Diski

Jenny Diski is the author of eight novels and two memoirs: Skating to Antarctica and Stranger on a Train. She lives in Cambridge.