Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today I Shall Be Mostly...

...stuffing dormice. Virtual ones of course!

Elizabeth Baines is visiting with me tomorrow. I thought, since it was the first leg of her Virtual Cyclone tour with Balancing On The Edge Of The World, I really ought to mark the ocasion with something special.

So we will be 'enjoying' a Roman style feast.

Before she gets here, I want to briefly talk about her debut collection of short stories. Right from the off, with the opening story, 'Condensed Metaphysics,' I was hooked. How can you set a story in a pizza parlour, with several people in various stages of drunkenness and still make it a story about humanity, and all our vices and virtues - but one that doesn't preach at you?

You can if you're Elizabeth Baines. This is the way she works: she makes the ordinary (the things, the attitudes, the way that people think) that you or I would pass right on by seem quite extraordinary. She does this by simply showing how characters really are, without apology.

If you read and re-read her work (yes, it really does bear re-reading), there are so many layers to it that each time there is a new freshness to each of her stories. 'Balancing On The Edge Of The World' really is a fulsome collection of short stories, each story fully realised and full of new ways to appreciate our human traits.

I'd better stop myself now... I mustn't let the fish sauce (an important element of tomorrow's meal) spoil!

5 comments:

Elizabeth Baines said...

Barbara, I am really looking forward to the feast, and having my best Peplos tunic cleaned ready!

Debi said...

Mmmm, dormouse with fish sauce. My favorite ...

Have you brought in Heston Blumenwotsits as the chef?

BarbaraS said...

Oh yeah Debi, I've even got his glasses now... it helps so's I can't really see what I'm cooking... ;)

Debi said...

Do not - repeat NOT - shave your head!

BarbaraS said...

Nah, I've already had that look, many years ago... not sure I can get away with it nowadays :)