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The Birth Machine,

Elizabeth Baines

The Birth Machine, Elizabeth Baines


Publication Date: 01-Nov-10 | ISBN: 9781907773020 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 160pp | Format: Paperback

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




Tucked up on the ward and secure in the latest technology, Zelda is about to give birth to her baby. But things don’t go to plan, and as her labour progresses and the drugs take over, Zelda enters a surreal world. Here, past and present become confused and blend with fairytale and myth. Old secrets surface and finally give birth to disturbing revelations in the present.

Originally published in the eighties, The Birth Machine was seized on by readers as giving voice to a female experience absent from fiction until then and quickly became a classic text. Out of print for some years, The Birth Machine is now reissued in a revised version. It is still relevant today to modern Obstetrics and Medicine, however it is more than that: it is also a gripping story of buried secrets and a long-ago murder, and of present-day betrayals. Above all, it is a powerful novel about the ways we can wield control through logic and language, and about the battle over who owns the right to knowledge and to tell the stories of who we are. The book was dramatised for Radio 4 and starred Barbara Marten as Zelda.


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The Birth Machine; Author’s Note


“A gripping story, a pithy book.” —Katy Campbell City Limits


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


“This powerful book leaves you with a sense of disquiet, anger and frustration … that what you have just read is an everyday story about an everyday event. As such it is very clever.” —Jessica Corner Everywoman


“In many ways this novel is the birth myth of our age” —Janet Madden Simpson In Dubllin


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


“The first well-crafted and surreal novel from a talented new writer.” —Literary Review


“An odd novel, and very compelling.” —Head and Hands



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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Balancing on the Edge of the World, Elizabeth Baines

Balancing on the Edge of the World,

Elizabeth Baines

- £8.99
These are stories about power: children without it and adults vying to get or keep it — the boy caught between divorced parents, the arts worker conman, the avenging wife. Sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and always surprising: for it’s a slippery thing, power, and nothing is ever quite what it seems …
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.
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