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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

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In-Flight Entertainment


In-Flight Entertainment Cover



Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and reading list that follow are intended to enhance your reading group’s discussion of In-Flight Entertainment, the wry, funny, and incisive new collection of stories by Helen Simpson.

Product Details

Simpson, Helen
Stories (single author)
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
7.7 x 5.3 x 0.72 in 0.6188 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women

In-Flight Entertainment Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307595584 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "If there's a flaw to be found in Simpson's latest collection of stories (after In the Driver's Seat, from 2007), it's that they're so clever they can distract readers from the characters as they admire the author's technique. Simpson's prose is crisp, her insights unsparing, and her passions transparent. The title story introduces a theme that runs throughout: humankind's heedless destruction of our environment, especially from air travel. Related themes are intergenerational blame and tension between activists and the apathetic. Characters grapple with the awareness that they and those they love are falling toward death, which makes for quiet, sorrowful stories like 'Scan' and 'Charm for a Friend with a Lump'; and hurtling toward annihilation, as in the terrifying postapocalyptic 'Diary of an Interesting Year.' There's also caustic humor, as shown by 'I'm Sorry but I'll have to Let You Go,' told from the POV of a self-centered jerk breaking up with his girlfriend. And as the young couple attempting to accommodate their differences in 'Geography Boy' shows, there's also love and hope. Simpson nonchalantly scrutinizes the often strained relationships between parents, and veers into adultery in the delightful 'Squirrel.' These 13 new stories showcase the work of one of the finest contemporary writers in the form. Agent: The Joy Harris Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A new collection of stories--dazzling, poignant, wickedly funny, and highly addictive—by the internationally acclaimed writer whose work The Times (London) calls "dangerously close to perfection."


Whether her subject is single women or wives in stages of midlife-ery, marriage or motherhood, youth, young love, homework or history, Simpson writes near to the bone and close to the heart. These thirteen stories brilliantly focus on aspects of contemporary living and unerringly capture a generation, a type, a social class, a pattern of behavior. They give us the small detail that reveals large secrets and summons up the inner stresses of our lives ("It is a blissful relief to turn to the coolness and clarity of Helen Simpson...She is, to my mind, the best short story writer now working in English." --Ed Crooks, Financial Times)

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