‘Wickedly clever prose and a sense of humour that seems to loom up like a character in itself’ – M John Harrison, Guardian
In her brilliantly inventive and haunting debut collection of stories, Julia Armfield explores the body, mapping the skin and bones of her characters through their experiences of isolation, obsession, love and revenge.
Teenagers develop ungodly appetites, a city becomes insomniac overnight, and bodies are diligently picked apart to make up better ones. The mundane worlds of schools and sleepy sea-side towns are invaded and transformed, creating a landscape which is constantly shifting to hold on to its inhabitants. Blurring the mythic and the gothic with the everyday, Salt Slow considers characters in motion – turning away, turning back or simply turning into something new entirely.
Winner of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018, Armfield is a writer of sharp, lyrical prose and tilting dark humour – Salt Slow marks the arrival of an ambitious and singular new voice.
‘Salt Slow is exemplary. A distinct new gothic, melancholy, powerful and poised.’ – China Mieville, author of The City & The City
‘Armfield is an enormous, gut-wrenching talent.’ – Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under
Filled with magic, insight, and a rare level of creativity that mark Armfield as a fresh new voice . . . Artistic and perceptive, Armfield's debut explores the ebbs and flows of human connection in lives touched by the bizarre. * Kirkus * Thrilling . . . A writer whose next move you wouldn't want to miss. * Observer * These short stories portray tender cruelties and macabre metamorphoses in wickedly clever prose . . . and a sense of humour that seems to loom up like a character in itself, having been lying in wait in a corner all along. -- M John Harrison * Guardian * 'Armfield's debut introduces a significant new voice in contemporary writing; original and challenging . . . each story seems as strange and troubling as a dream; illogical and inevitable, and all the more powerful for that.' * The Herald * In the tradition of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, Julia Armfield's salt slow places a surrealist lens on women's bodies, interactions and relationships to expose their mythic, metamorphic potential. Subversive in viewpoint, these stories achieve a simplicity and crispness of tone, setting and story that gives them the timeless, evocative quality of fables. -- Caoilinn Hughes, author of Orchid and the Wasp These are brilliantly addictive, barbed, illusive stories. Armfield creates a cleverly unsettling, iridescent world that we are all the better for entering. -- Irenosen Okojie, author of Speak Gigantular Her work has a timelessness to it, and a generosity of emotion that's brave and affecting. -- Chloe Aridjis, author of Book of Clouds and judge of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018 Visceral, fierce and beautifully unsettling, Armfield's writing has an astonishing power. This collection haunted me with its brilliance. -- Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory Writers should take risks and Julia Armfield does this fearlessly with stories that unnerve and delight in equal measure. There are echoes of Leonora Carrington and Carmen Maria Machado, but Armfield's distinct voice is her own: singular, visceral and eerie. A hugely impressive first collection. -- Sinead Gleeson, author of Constellations Remember the name Julia Armfield as this will be the year that salt slow bubbles under then pops up everywhere on best-of lists and literary prizes . . . Visceral, perturbing and exhilarating. * Stylist * The stories in this collection look at women's bodies and their experiences in society with an eerie, otherworldly lense . . . For fans of Carmen Maria Machado, Sophie Mackintosh and Megan Hunter * Elle * These exquisitely written stories are like the quietly surreal lovechild of Anne Michaels and Julio Cortazar. Both moving and poetic, salt slow introduces Julia Armfield as a writer to watch and greatly admire. -- Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti Truly dazzling . . . Horror for the Instagram generation. There is a melancholy sense in reading such a wonderful collection of short stories and finding them so subtle, intelligent and imaginative. When I put the book down I wondered: will her first novel be as good? -- Stuart Kelly * The Scotsman * Reading this collection is the only thing you need to do right now. Reading this collection is the only thing you ever need to do. Armfield is an enormous, gut-wrenching talent. -- Daisy Johnson, Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of Everything Under This debut collection is both wild and wonderful, packed with mythical transformations that take place in the most ordinary of contemporary settings . . . vivid . . . visceral . . . marvellous. * Daily Mail * Unafraid to venture beyond realism's limits, Julia Armfield refashions our contemporary existence as an eerie, care-worn dreamworld, taking our quotidian anxieties and desires and handing them back to us empathetically remade . . . Armfield is a significant, exciting talent. -- Sam Byers, author of Perfidious Albion and judge of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018 salt slow is exemplary. A distinct new gothic, melancholy, powerful and poised. -- China Mieville, author of The City & The City
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