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Perfect Lives

Polly Samson


List Price: 24.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/20/2011)
Paperback (3/22/2016)


In an English seaside town, lovers and children, young men and middle-aged women weave in and out of each other's lives and stories.

A mother is tormented by her daughter's tattoo; another only pretends to love her baby. A wife stalks her husband and his new lover; a broken egg through a letterbox tells a story that will not go away; the cat thinks he knows best. Threaded throughout are longings for love and poignant disappointments, surprising pleasures and temptations. Some will fall but some, like the small boy at the circus who sees his babysitter fly past on a trapeze wearing little more than a blue bra and spangles, will retain their feeling of awe.

PERFECT LIVES, follows Polly Samson's rapturously received first collection, LYING IN BED. They are rueful, knowing, witty, poignant, bashful, bold. Her genius is in the nuance.

Praise For Perfect Lives

** 'An unexpected combination of romp and classical: thought-provoking, sassy and comforting—Ali Smith ** 'With her effortless prose and unflinching eye, Samson dips beneath the surface of apparently contented, even blessed lives and the result is compelling, disturbing and moving?

Maggie O'Farrell ** 'These intertwined, silken stories deftly expose the heart-sickness behind so many of the burnished surfaces of contemporary life—John Banville

Samson's interlinked stories reveal turbulent emotional truths ... Samson's tone is pitch perfect, as bracing and invigorating as her seaside setting.—Marie Claire

This is a masterly book and it's impossible not to start all over again the minute you finish reading it. More than simply a series of exquisitely crafted miniatures, it encompasses many of the larger delights of a full-length novel. Polly Samson loves these people, describing them with incisive wit and generous compassion.—Sue Gainsford, FT

Little, Brown UK, 9781860499920, 240pp.

Publication Date: April 5, 2011

About the Author

Polly Samson was born in London. Her previous collection, LYING IN BED, was followed by a novel, OUT OF THE PICTURE. She also writes lyrics.