Getting to the end

I met short story writer Helen Simpson once and asked her about the fact that Granta had named her as one of its Best of Young British Novelists a decade or so earlier. “Which novel was that?” I asked quite innocently, thinking that I ought to give it a read. But it turned out she got the nomination while the novel was still in progress, and in the end she never finished it. “It’s hard keeping all that story in your head,” Simpson said. “Short stories I can manage, but not novels.”

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