“Dunmore’s carefully observed stories demonstrate her ear for language and her eye for the telling moment. . . .Dunmore deftly uses narrative turning points to throw her characters into sharp relief.” Sarah Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review
978-0-8021-4053-1 • $12.00 • Paperback • Mar. 2004
Witty, stylish, and evocative, Ice Cream is Helen Dunmore’s astonishing new collection of stories, the first by the award-winning author of The Siege and A Spell of Winter to be published in the United States. World-class storyteller Helen Dunmore explores friendship, regret, and mysterious passions in stories crafted with subtlety, humor, and a surprising tenderness. In each taut, agile tale, characters negotiate sit situations that are often both mundane and bizarre: a cafeteria cook confronts her Polish pen pal; a divorced mother gains insight from a parking meter; a beautiful, thin, and famous woman succumbs to the lure of comfort food; a grieving husband says farewell to his wife; a boastful writer is put in his place in spectacular fashion; and in a chilling future, conception is ruthlessly controlled by the government. In several stories a soulful, curious woman named Ulli takes up residence in the reader’s imaginationstumbling across a strangely magnetic collector of religious icons, contemplating a youthful pregnancy, and remembering a troubled lover.
In Ice Cream, Dunmore reveals both her poet’s ear for the concise and piercing potentialities of language and the novelist’s ambition of scope, proving her status as “a master of the shorter form” (The Sunday Telegraph).