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Balancing on the Edge of the World,

Elizabeth Baines

Balancing on the Edge of the World, Elizabeth Baines


Publication Date: 01-Oct-07 | ISBN: 9781844713943 | Trim Size: 203 x 127 mm | Extent: 112pp | Format: Paperback

UK & International Distribution: Grantham Book Services | Publishing Status: Active Shop online at HiveFind your local bookshop




These are stories about power: children without it and adults vying to get or keep it. A small boy struggles with his parents’ divorce, a doctor fails to understand the limits of his medical power, a wronged wife finds a uniquely powerful way to wreak revenge. Sometimes satirical, sometimes innovative and lyrical, the stories home in on those moments when power can spill into powerlessness: the split-second when a self-satisfied teenager is held at knifepoint by muggers, the trip to the woods with the ‘poor kids’ which teaches a small girl she’s no better than them. They chart the opposite moments when people wrest back power: a daughter rebels against her violent father, a struggling writer decides to expose a con man arts worker, a little girl who wishes her lost father would come back finds she has magic powers.

But it’s a slippery thing, power, and these vivid, wry stories spring surprises: for nothing, in the end, is ever quite what it seems.


PDF Click here to view a sample (116 KB)



Condensed Metaphysics; The Shooting Script; Daniel Smith Disappears off the Face of the Earth; Power; Holding Hands; Compass and Torch; Star Things; Leaf Memory; A Glossary of Bread; Going Back; Into the Night; Conundrum; The Way to Behave; Who’s Singing?; Acknowledgements


“A terrific collection – luminous, witty and wise.” —Livi Michael



“For ‘Star Things’:
Almost ethereal in its strangeness and has great energy at its heart.” —Brendan O’Keefe Literary Review


“For ‘Star Things’:
Integral, readable and stylish.” —City Limits


“Elizabeth Baines has a wry humour and satirical edge.” —Martin Nicholls City Life


“For Body Cuts:
Strikingly told.” —Sunday Times


“About The Birth Machine:

An increasingly powerful narrative … its presentation of the world of childhood contrasts nicely with a sharp satire.” —Laura Marcus Times Literary Supplement



Elizabeth BainesElizabeth Baines was born in South Wales and lives in Manchester. She has been a teacher and is an occasional actor as well as the prize-winning author of plays for radio and stage, and of two novels, The Birth Machine and Body Cuts. Her award-winning short stories have been published widely in magazines and anthologies. Her first story collection, Balancing on the Edge of the World, was published by Salt in 2007. A novel, Too Many Magpies, will come from Salt in November 2009.

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Too Many Magpies, Elizabeth Baines

Too Many Magpies,

Elizabeth Baines

- £8.99
A charismatic stranger comes into the life of a young mother fearing for her children in a polluted and changing world. He seems to offer a special kind of power… A haunting and timely novel about our hidden desires, and our rational and irrational fears in a newly precarious environment.
The Birth Machine, Elizabeth Baines

The Birth Machine,

Elizabeth Baines

- £8.99
As Zelda labours in childbirth, she sinks into a surreal world where the past blends with the present, and facts become merged with fairytale and myth. The long-awaited reissue of the groundbreaking eighties novel, which exposed a woman’s experience of hi-tech childbirth, tells a gripping story of a long-ago murder and present-day betrayals.
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Price: £8.99 (£8.99 Inc. VAT)

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