From the author of The Gustav Sonata
Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom Edward Vlll abdicated in 1936, ended her life 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, has forgotten the king who gave up an empire for love of her.
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...
Over a million Rose Tremain books sold
`A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion' Independent I
`There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain' Irish Times
`Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect' The Times
`Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists' Salman Rushdie
`Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness' Marcel Theroux, Guardian
Rose Tremain's novels and short stories have been published in thirty countries and have won several awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Dylan Thomas Award (The Colonel's Daughter and Other Stories), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country). Her most recent novel, The Gustav Sonata, was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. It won the National Jewish Book Award in the US, the South Bank Sky Arts Award in the UK and was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes. www.rosetremain.co.uk