Salt Slow

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What to expect

The electrifying debut from the White Review Prize winner
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

‘Thrilling . . . A writer whose next move you wouldn’t want to miss.’ Observer

‘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 bodies and the bodily, 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 Miéville, author of The City & The City

‘Armfield is an enormous, gut-wrenching talent.’ Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under


‘Truly dazzling . . . so subtle, intelligent and imaginative.’ Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

Critics Review

  • salt slow is exemplary. A distinct new gothic, melancholy, powerful and poised.

    China Miéville, author of The City & The City
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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?

    The Scotsman
  • 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

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