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In a collection of short works by the author of The Siege and A Spell of Winter, a cafeteria cook confronts her pen pal, a boastful writer is put in his place, a future government ruthlessly controls conception, and a soulful woman remembers her past.
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Helen Dunmore has published seven novels, including The Siege, A Spell of Winter, and With Your Crooked Heart (Atlantic Monthly Press), and has been published in 15 countries. She is also a children’s novelist, short-story writer, prize-winning poet, and first-ever winner of England’s prestigious Orange Prize. She reviews fiction regularly for The Times (London) and poetry for The Observer and Poetry Review. She has also written for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail.
Dunmore has acted as a judge for the National Poetry Competition, the Somerset Maugham Awards, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Prize, The Forward Prize, and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. She is a Fellow of England’s Royal Society of Literary and a member of the Society of Authors, Humanities and Social Sciences. She lives in Bristol, England with her family.
In Helen Dunmore's exquisitely controlled collection, stories such as "Emily's Ring" flirt with darkness while "Swimming into the Millennium" and "The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife" offer moments of spiritual illumination. The title story records a tiny moment in the life of an ultra-thin supermodel. Clara longs for a taste of ice cream at her birthday celebration in an elegant restaurant. Carole Boyd performs Clara's ambivalence, her desire for the forbidden confection, and, ultimately, her delicious surrender, with humor and honesty. Her work in "You Stayed Awake with Me" is poignant and passionate. Boyd's expertise reveals characters' deeper motives by the slightest alteration in her tone. This sensuous reading by Boyd complements Helen Dunmore's lyrical prose, with its underlying eroticism, its awareness of the hope and despair inherent in the human condition. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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