The Darkness of Wallis Simpson by Rose Tremain, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Darkness of Wallis Simpson

The Darkness of Wallis Simpson

by Rose Tremain
     
 

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A wonderful new collection of short stories, most of which are published here for the first time.

Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, ended her life (as the Duchess of Windsor) as the prisoner of her lawyer who would not allow anyone — friend, foe or journalist — to visit her in her Paris flat.

Overview

A wonderful new collection of short stories, most of which are published here for the first time.

Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, ended her life (as the Duchess of Windsor) as the prisoner of her lawyer who would not allow anyone — friend, foe or journalist — to visit her in her Paris flat. Rose Tremain takes this true story and transforms it into an imaginative and ironic fiction. Her thesis is that Wallis, gaga and bed-ridden, had forgotten the king who gave up an empire for love of her.

This superb story plays with the selectiveness of memory: why does Wallis recall the seemingly unimportant, while forgetting the glory days of her notoriety? She can remember her first two husbands — one a bit of a brute, the other very boring — but not the world-famous third one.

The other stories in this magnificent collection range over a variety of themes, equally original and unexpected: an East German border guard, redundant after the Berlin Wall comes down in 1989, imagines that he might still have a purpose in life. He tries to reach Russia by bicycling across the hostile wastes of Poland. A jilted man gets his revenge. A baby grows wings. A character in an Impressionist painting escapes from his “frame” — or does he? And there’s a Christmas story set in a seedy hotel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection is a jewel-box containing gems of near perfection … She's a consistently superior writer. Do yourself – and literature – a service: Read her.”
Globe & Mail

“. . . moving and tragic. The Darkness of Rose Tremain is never far from the surface in this brilliantly written short story collection.”
Express

“Written with the deft imagination we’ve come to know and love from Rose Tremain.”
Good Housekeeping

“Mordantly perceptive tales.”
Sunday Times

“Her exactness and lightness of touch in scene-setting are used to superb effect in her short stories.”
Independent on Sunday

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099268567
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/05/2006
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

the Sorbonne and is a graduate of the University of East Anglia, where she went on to teach creative writing between 1988 and 1995.

Her first novel, Sadler's Birthday, was published in 1976 and Granta selected her as one of its 'Best of Young British Novelists' in 1983. She has gone on to become a prolific writer of fiction — including drama and short stories broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 — and is the winner of numerous literary awards, including the Whitbread Novel Award, which she won in 1999 for Music and Silence, and the Dylan Thomas Short Story Award. Her novel Restoration was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and was made into a film in 1996.

She is currently working on her next novel, The Road Home, the story of Lev, an Eastern European immigrant struggling to make his way in London, due to be published by Chatto and Windus in 2007.
Rose Tremain lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer Richard Holmes.

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