book cover of In the Driver\'s Seat

In the Driver's Seat

(2007)
A collection of stories by

 
 
A dark, dazzling, surprisingly funny new collection of stories (“Masterly” —Adam Mars Jones, The Observer; “A virtuoso performance” —Jane Shilling, The Sunday Telegraph) about single women and wives in various phases of midlife—anxious mothers, besotted mothers, beset mothers—in a (futile) search for security and consolation.

Helen Simpson's stories are short but by no means small. One story takes the Iraq war as its subject; another describes a smoker's reprieve from death by lung cancer; in another, a simple tale of home maintenance—a woman in a conversation with the carpenter replacing her door after a break-in—becomes a deftly sketched study of grief. In still another, Simpson manages the seemingly impossible—producing laughter at terminal illness and untimely death (this might be the first story in which the amputation of a limb provides a happy ending). And finally, the story entitled “Constitutional”—a pun on one of the word's meanings: a walk taken for the benefit of one's health—deals with memory, family, Alzheimer's, oak trees, pregnancy for the over-forties, stolen photographs, and crossword puzzles.

Helen Simpson's stories move and disturb us as they light up the human gift for making the best of it—whatever it is.

Genre: General Fiction

Used availability for Helen Simpson's In the Driver's Seat

Hardback Editions

May 2007 : USA Hardback
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Title: In the Driver's Seat: Stories
Author(s): Helen Simpson
ISBN: 0-307-26522-6 / 978-0-307-26522-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

May 2008 : USA Paperback
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Title: In the Driver's Seat (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author(s): Helen Simpson
ISBN: 0-307-27756-9 / 978-0-307-27756-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

December 2008 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: In the Driver's Seat (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author(s): Helen Simpson
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon