A Night In with Clare Chambers
To mark the paperback publication of Small Pleasures
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 Small Pleasures is a novel of unexpected second chances set in 1950s England: a delicate, tender story about belief, credulity and tilting at happiness.
1957, south-east suburbs of London. Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and - on the brink of forty - living a limited existence with her truculent mother: a small life from which there is no likelihood of escape.
When a young woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud.
As the investigation turns her quiet life inside out, Jean is suddenly given an unexpected chance at friendship, love and - possibly - happiness.
But inevitably there will be a price to pay, and it will be unbearable.
Join the author, Clare Chambers, as she explores the inspirations behind her haunting and compelling novel; a BBC Radio 4 interview she heard more than 20 years ago, the story of a significant local tragedy, and a failed project all led her to write Small Pleasures, her first novel in 10 years. In conversation for this exclusive event, she’ll touch on the themes of her novel: post-war suburban femininity, human fragility, the nobility of sacrifice, and the conflict between personal fulfilment and duty.
This promises to be a fascinating and engaging evening to celebrate one of the most talked about books of the moment.
‘Perfect.’ - India Knight
‘This is one of the most tender, beautiful books I have ever read. Please, please order it now. I honestly don't want you to be without it. It is exquisite.’ - Lucy Mangan