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Balancing on the Edge of the World (Salt Modern Fiction) [Paperback]

Elizabeth Baines
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2007 Salt Modern Fiction
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 ...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing (1 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844713946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844713943
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 12.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 982,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Elizabeth Baines was born in South Wales. Her grandmother claimed to be descended from the family of the eighteenth-century Welsh plasterer-bard Will Hopkin, and undeterred by the fact that there was no proof of this, Elizabeth decided at an early age to be a writer in his footsteps. Her acclaimed novels and short stories expose the power we hold over each other, the secrets we keep from each other, and the ways in which even our fantasies can alter our lives and those of others for ever. Her collection of stories Balancing on the Edge of the World (Salt Publishing, 2007), has received widespread enthusiasm and spent several days in the Amazon UK Bestseller short stories list. Her most recent book, the novel Too Many Magpies (Salt, 2009), has been similarly praised. Salt have also reissued her first novel, the acclaimed The Birth Machine.

'One of those books I had to force myself to put down just so the experience of reading it wouldn't end.' - Tania Hershman, on the story collection Balancing on the Edge of the World

'I read most of this book in one sitting as I could not drag myself away from its eerie storytelling... An accomplished, thoughtful novel that offers us a strange new lens with which to view the world' - Lisa Glass, on Too Many Magpies

Elizabeth writes the well-regarded Fictionbitch blog (http://fictionbitch.blogspot.com) and her own author blog (http://elizabethbaines.blogspot.com). Her website is at www.elizabethbaines.com.

Product Description


'A stunning debut collection' -- Melissa Lee-Houghton, The Short Review

'Both lyrical and clear-sighted... Enormous aplomb... Very well-written' -- Adele Geras, on Normblog, March 6, 2008

'Impressive collection... She finds and plucks out important and remarkable moments from the otherwise ordinary. It is quite a skill.'
-- Scott Pack, January 13 2009

'Quite swept me off my feet.' -- Lynne Hatwell, Dovegreyreader blog, Feb 25 2009


'A stunning debut collection'

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Power and humanity 17 Dec 2008
Balancing on the Edge of the World employs a very high standard of writing indeed and I enjoyed it very much. The themes are the relationship between people and the power they hold (or the lack of it) - very human tales indeed. Particular favourites are Condensed Metaphysics (jazzy, edgy and strong), Holding Hands (a powerful tale of family dynamics and frailty - though Baines should have ended it 3 paragraphs earlier as the end line actually appears at the close of the 4th paragraph in from the finish, to my mind), Into the Night (a great erotic encounter which might or might not turn out to be more) and Condundrum (a wry look at child-rearing through the generations). I'd definitely read more of this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-wire Storytelling 25 July 2009
Baines write stories that demand to be emotionally and philosophically engaged with. Flights of introspective narrative blur the edges of the 'complete picture' with flashes of intense human understanding, rewarding us with a platform to question and react.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short stories with an edge 14 Sep 2008
It's all too easy for short stories to read as something very slight - either as tales which don't have a strong enough backbone to support a bigger plot, or as bits of poetry in prose form which delight in the rhythm of words over meaning or point. What makes Elizabeth Baines' collection so brilliant - and why, no doubt, it was deservedly nominated recently for an international award - is that she perfectly plays with both the page-turning quality of novel's fiction, and a crafted beauty you usually only associate with verse. These are stories concerned with 'power', in all its forms - whether it be the hilarious tale of a naive screenwriter and the way her fledgeling script is abused by a film course, or the magical superhuman powers of a young child ignored by the numbing reality of parents getting divorced. They're funny, and moving, and thoughtful - but above all, they're short stories which celebrate how beguiling short stories can be. Read and be enchanted.
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