Balancing on the Edge of the World

Balancing on the Edge of the World

4.04 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 9mm | 122.47g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 1844713946
  • 9781844713943
  • 917,059

Table of contents

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
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Review quote

About The Birth Machine:

A gripping story, a pithy book. -- Katie Campbell * City Limits * About The Birth Machine:

This powerful book leaves you with a sense of disquiet, anger and frustration [and] the realisation ... that what you have just read is an everyday story about an everyday event. As such it is very clever. -- Jessica Corner * Everywoman * 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 * For Body Cuts:

Strikingly told. * Sunday Times * Elizabeth Baines has a wry humour and satirical edge. -- Martin Nicholls * City Life * For `Star Things':

Integral, readable and stylish. * City Limits * For `Star Things':

Almost ethereal in its strangeness and has great energy at its heart. -- Brendan O'Keefe * Literary Review *
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About Elizabeth Baines

Elizabeth 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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Rating details

21 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 38% (8)
4 38% (8)
3 14% (3)
2 10% (2)
1 0% (0)
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