Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom Edward Vlll abdicated in 1936, ended her life (as the Duchess of Windsor) 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. This superb story plays with the selectiveness of memory: why does Wallis recall the seemingly unimportant, while forgetting the glory days of her notoriety? She can remember her first two husbands - one a bit of a brute, the other very boring - but not the world-famous third one. 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 inlife: he tries to reach Russia by bicycling across the hostile wastes of Poland. A jilted man gets his revenge. A baby grows wings. Acharacter in an Impressionist painting escapes from his 'frame' - or does he?
And there's a Christmas story set in a seedy hotel -
Buy Darkness of Wallis Simpson book by Rose Tremain from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(205mm x 137mm x 21mm)
Publisher: Octopus Publishing Group
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Author Biography - Rose Tremain
Rose Tremain's bestselling novels have been published in thirty countries and have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country); Restoration was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007 and was appointed Chancellor of the University of East Anglia in 2013. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes. www.rosetremain.co.uk