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Books  >>  Biography

Sylvia Smith

Appleby House

Sylvia Smith Appleby House
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Appleby House is Sylvia Smith’s delightful, refreshingly candid account of a year spent in a shabby bed-sit in1980s London’s East End.

Smith’s engrossing, understated narrative invests the story of shared living: shifting allegiances, cleaning negotiations, debates about whose turn it is to change the toilet paper (it’s color-coded) and who’s been stealing whose hot water (50p buys 2 baths) with compulsive suspense of the highest order. As tensions build around Laura’s adamant refusal to turn down her music or pretend to care about what her housemates have to say, we find ourselves astonishingly addicted to the goings on in this tiny corner of the universe. In the most artless and amusing way, Appleby House thoroughly indulges our very human fascination with the day-to-day and the surprising, often inexplicable, behavior of our fellow members of the species.

“A hilarious and poignant little page-turner.” --Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’s Diary

"A charming, funny book about coin-operated bathtubs and unmarried secretaries living in shabbily-furnished rooms. Someday, I should like to visit this strange alien planet called London."--Neal Pollack, author of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature

“The East End minimalist is back. . .and again, against all probability, she draws us in, as if her book were a high suspense drama.”—The Observer (UK)

“Smith writes about mundanity with a deftness that can be startling. You end up turning the pages faster and faster, hungry for more...”—The Evening Standard (UK)


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