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book cover of Used to be

Used to be

A novel by

Long-listed for the 2016 Edge Hill Short Story Prize What if, in a parallel universe, you made a different choice of lover? What if you've spent your whole life with entirely the wrong idea about your own sister? What do you do if you're trapped in a phone box by a woman who might be a victim, but could have accomplices nearby? What if we're wrong that ghosts come from the past, they come from somewhere else? What if we're only dreaming the life we think we're living? And can your life be changed by a message written by starlings on the sky? In Used to Be, a woman is driven at breakneck speed down a motorway, her life flashing before her, and comes to see that there's never just one story of a life. An eighteenth-century gentleman's certainty is challenged by a strange phenomenon, and a fatality on the line throws into disarray the lives of the passengers of an express train. Black holes and flooding can make us feel that the universe is running away with us and steal our certainty: can we ever say who we are really are? How reliable can memory ever be, and can looking for a ruined castle unlock the secrets of one person's past? Is there ever one real story?In the world of these short fictions, things are rarely what they're first assumed to be. There's always another story lurking somewhere...


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Paperback Editions

August 2015 : UK Paperback

Title: Used to Be
Author(s): Elizabeth Baines
ISBN: 1-78463-036-5 / 978-1-78463-036-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Salt
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA