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Pessimism for Beginners

Sophie Hannah

Pessimism for Beginners
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, Humour, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2007)
£9.95 £8.96
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(Pub. Nov 2007)
£8.95 £8.05
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(Pub. Nov 2007)
£8.95 £8.05
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  • Next time you speak to you-know-who
    I've got a message for him.
    Tell him that I have lost a stone
    Since the last time I saw him.
    Tell him that I've got three new books
    Coming out soon, but play it
    Cool, make it sound spontaneous.
    Don't say I said to say it.

            from 'Don't Say I Said'
    Sophie Hannah's sharp pen dissects modern life and relationships with insouciant honesty and ruthless wit, and her love poems evoke timeless feelings with a shrewd simplicity that deepens her range. An edge of desolation, tenderness - an occasional flash of cruelty - and an ebullient delight in language make this a book of bittersweet pleasures.

    Pessimism for Beginners includes an extract from the opening chapter of Sophie Hannah's second psychological thriller, Hurting Distance, published by Hodder & Stoughton, described by The Times as 'a superbly creepy, twisty thriller about obsessive love, psychological torture and the darkest chambers of the human heart'. In poetry and prose, Sophie Hannah is compellingly readable.


    On Her Tiredness            11

    Mary Questions the Health Visitor            12

    ‘No Ball Games etc’            13

    Round Robin            14

    Discipline            15

    The Plan            17

    Letterland            18

    Fifteen per cent of goodbye…            19

    Deferred Gratification            20

    Silly Mummy            21

    One Little Wish            22

    Astronomical            23

    Pessimism for Beginners            24


    Something and Nothing            27

    Telling Strangers            28

    How I Feel Now    29

    Living Without You      30

    From a Stranger            31

    Exorcise            32

    Friday 13th February 2004            34

    The Onus            35

    Manifest            36

    Imaginary Friend  37

    My Ideal Man            38

    Send    39


    The Cutting Dead    43

    White Feathers            44

    Peace Offering            45

    In the Chill            46

    After the Axe            47

    The Way It Has to Be            48

    Nothing to Hide     49

    Let’s Put the Past in Front of Us        50

    The Barring Arm     51

    Homewrecker            52

    Don’t Say I Said     53

    Rubbish at Adultery            54

    Anyone Can Draw a Line            55

    Progress            56

    Limited 57

    from Chapter 1 of Hurting Distance            59


    Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories. In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries. In September 2016, ... read more
    Praise for Sophie Hannah 'Shall I put it in capitals? SOPHIE HANNAH IS A GENIUS.' Be that as it may, Hotels like Houses provides a new range of romantic ironies, light and dark laughter, for her readership.'
    The Poetry Review
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