Girl, Balancing & Other Stories

by Helen Dunmore

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LoveReading Expert Review of Girl, Balancing & Other Stories

Suffused in the author’s characteristic warmth and wit, these posthumously published short stories display Helen Dunmore’s inimitable flair for nuanced observation to remarkable effect.

At once lyrical and sparse, intimate and expansive, delicate and sharp, this collection is the final work of a late, great writer who understood and articulated the subtle complexities of the human heart in each of her novels, poems and stories. The themes here will be familiar to Dunmore aficionados – friendship, family, folk at life’s liminal junctures. Take Nina, whose tales portray a young woman teetering into a new phase of life. She’s a naïve and lonely seventeen-year-old living in a drab bedsit, unsure of what to do, but making do and on the brink - one hopes - of finding her place in the world. Indeed, many of these stories explore life’s big transitions, and how individuals live with such precariousness, as in “A Night Out”, a life-affirming tale of two widows’ unforeseen unity beneath the stars. There’s much tenderness too, characters who awaken affection, a personal favourite being glorious Auntie Binnie, an unassuming companion to an old lady who blooms as an artist later in life (“Portrait of Auntie Binbag, with Ribbons”).

While Dunmore’s devotees will adore this treasure, I’d also recommend it wholeheartedly as an introduction to her exquisite writing.


Joanne Owen

Girl, Balancing & Other Stories Synopsis

Haunting, uplifting, beautiful: the final work from Helen Dunmore Helen Dunmore passed away in June 2017, leaving behind this remarkable collection of short stories. With her trademark imagination and gift for making history human, she explores the fragile ties between passion, love, family, friendship and grief, often through people facing turning points in their lives: A girl alone, stretching her meagre budget to feed herself, becomes aware that the young man who has come to see her may not be as friendly as he seems. Two women from very different backgrounds enjoy an unusual night out, finding solace in laughter and an unexpected friendship. A young man picks up his infant son and goes outside into a starlit night as he makes a decision that will inform the rest of his life. A woman imprisoned for her religion examines her faith in a seemingly literal and quietly original way. This brilliant collection of Helen Dunmore's short fiction, replete with her penetrating insight into the human condition, is certain to delight and move all her readers.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781786331489
Publication date: 28th June 2018
Author: Helen Dunmore
Publisher: Hutchinson an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Hardback
Primary Genre Shorter Reads
Other Genres:

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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781786331489
Publication date: 28/06/2018
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781473561113
Publication date: 28/06/2018
Format: Ebook

ISBN: 9781786331496
Publication date: 28/06/2018
Format: Paperback

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About Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore was the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D H Lawrence’s expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as ‘a world-class novel’ and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize.Helen Dunmore&...

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