- Helen Simpson was born in 1959 in Bristol, in the West of England, and went to a girls' school.
- She went to Oxford University where she studied English Literature and then went on to do research into 17th century Restoration comedy. Simpson's own work is always very witty and she enjoys making people laugh.
- Her writing career took off when she won a competition run by the fashion magazine Vogue.
had an annual competition and you had to write a story
of your life in 700 words and you had to interview someone.
And the story of my life I made up. I first of all wrote
it straight, it was so boring - basically I did homework,
I did homework, so I made up a life story for myself,
I gave myself four or five brothers and I had dramatic
Typically she had invented the life story which won her the prize of a job with Vogue - considering her real life to be too dull. Simpson worked at Vogue for five years before her success in writing short stories meant she could afford to leave and concentrate full-time on her writing.