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Five Leaves



It is summer…a heat wave…tense, uneasy days in the city. There are ominous signs of political turbulence in the dying years of the twentieth century. Welfare benefits are under attack, but women are fighting back, using unorthodox weapons. Lynn Byers does not accept the government’s demand for a return to ‘womanly duties’. As desperate politicians use increasingly savage methods of control, she can no longer stand aside to watch. A classic of women’s fiction.


First published in 1979 by Virago, Benefits is a feminist dystopia in which a patriarchal state uses the social security system to impose repressive lifestyles on women. It was nominated for the Philip K Dick Award for science fiction, and the Hawthornden Prize for imaginative literature. It has been published throughout the world, and adapted for the stage at the Albany Empire in Deptford, London.

The Secret World of Polly Flint


“Have they told you?” His voice was lowered now, he was speaking of secrets to be told.
“Told me? What?”
“Of the lost village…”


As soon as she arrives in Wellow, Polly Flint knows there is magic in the place. And she should know because she is an unusual girl who can see things others can’t.


Polly Flint seems to be able to call up a village that had disappeared from the face of the earth – and the people who lived in it, as they slip in and out of time.