Ambling Along
the Aqueduct

The Cascadia
Subduction Zone

The Aqueduct Bulletin

Subscribe to our

Catalog for 2023

Our Mission


PO Box 95787
Seattle, WA 98145-2787
Previous Book Next Book

Conversation Pieces

Vol. 45 — Back, Belly, and Side: True Lies and False Tales

by Celeste Rita Baker

$12 $10.00 (paperback)
$5.95 (e-book) EPUB
 Add to Cart
 Add to Cart

Read a sample from the book.

Did you ever wonder what the earth thinks? What's its favorite song? How she ended up in your heart? Think you can't fly? Think you have a job you don't like? How much would you pay for answers?

No, you can't touch my hair. And yes, I've seen your two-toned shoes. Have you seen my father?

Did you ever wonder what clouds are really for? Or how I ended up like this? How old is too old for butter and beef? What's that one last thing you have to do? And who will help you through?
"Back, Belly & Side is full of Celeste Rita Baker's special story magic. With tales of wisdom, wonderment, and new world lore, she creates characters that speak and leap off the page to deliver the best gift of all--deep belly laughter."
 — Sheree Renée Thomas, author of Shotgun Lullabies: Stories & Poems

"Celeste Rita Baker's stories balance heartache and hilarity with poetic, uncompromising prose. This collection sings ancient songs with a modern beat. It is fully alive."
 —Daniel Jose Older, author of Salsa Nocturna and editor of Long Hidden from History

"...this collection is worth a read. The characters are beautifully drawn and the situations they find themselves in are, simultaneously, real and far-fetched. Wonderful use of language and explorations of parenthood, reality, and love."
 —Kate O'Connor, Abyss & Apex

"Celeste Rita Baker brings us smack down into the islands with her vivid and raw rhythms and use of dialect, and reminds that the Caribbean has long had a strong claim to the magic that makes genre so imaginative."
 —Tobias Buckell, author of Hurricane Fever and Halo: The Cole Protocol


Celeste Rita Baker's collection of stories Back, Belly, & Side: True Lies and False Tales has its own internal rhythm&emdash;it's playful and light and then, quite unexpectedly, it turns dark and sorrowful. As with magical realism in the best sense, Baker's stories have feet that are light on the ground. Voices are heard when you least expect it, children who are not yours suddenly just are, and most tenuous and disturbing of all, memories start to gather at the edge of your consciousness. Everything is strange and potentially mysterious, and yet everything is as ordinary as it can be....Ultimately, Bakers strong storytelling gifts, her remarkable ear for dialogue and her ability to translate it onto the page make Back, Belly, & Side memorable, both sweet and dark."

  (Read the whole review)
  —Strange Horizons, Subashini Navaratnam, 11/2/2015

ISBN: 978-1-61976-081-3 (13 digit)
Publication Date: Apr 2015
paperback 122 pages