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Penguin: Putnam Trade Fall 2018

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The Salt Line
By (author): Holly Goddard Jones
9780735214330 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Aug 28, 2018
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.42 x 8.23 x 0.84 in 400 pages Putnam G.P. Putnam's Sons
In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump “the salt line.”

How far will they go for their freedom—once they decide what freedom really means?

The country’s borders have receded behind a salt line—a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta, a seemingly simple housewife.

The group soon finds itself at the mercy of deadly ticks—and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the Salt Line.

Story Locale: A near-future Southeastern USA

A GROWING LITERARY GENRE: With the major successes of titles like Station Eleven and California, it is clear that readers are looking for more literary dystopian novels, with an emphasis on rich character development. Younger female authors in particular have done well with this genre in recent years. It is becoming a bonafide niche in the market, and does extremely well in the paperback format.

PERFECTLY ON TREND: The Salt Line is the perfect book for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale or The Power by Naomi Alderman who are looking for stories featuring strong heroines fighting an oppressive society. Newsworthy issues like feminism, technology, and the “surveillance state” are highlighted within the story.

APPEALS HIGH AND LOW: Holly Goddard Jones writes in a readable way that is still beautiful line by line—readers who may not read dystopian novels otherwise will be drawn to this novel. The combination of a fast plot and gorgeous prose has reviewers comparing her to Gillian Flynn, Dennis Lehane, and Russell Banks.

GLOWING REVIEWS AND BLURBS:The Salt Line received wonderful reviews, with the Los Angeles Times calling it “an exciting novel, with unexpected twists and turns” and The Huffington Post praising its “beautiful prose and a superb understanding of human psychology.” Kelly Link, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Scott Smith all gave glowing blurbs.

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Jones is a creative writing professor at UNC Greensboro who has been published in many distinguished journals. She was awarded the prestigious 2013 Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and has been longlisted for the Frank O’Connell International Short Story Award.

STRONG REGIONAL TIES: Jones has been lauded as the new literary Southern voice. Born and raised in Kentucky, her regional ties are strong, with a lot of bookseller support. The Salt Line was a 2017 SIBA Okra Pick, and Southern Living Magazine named it “one of the best Southern books of the year.”

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Salt Line, The Next Time You See Me, and Girl Trouble (Stories). Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, Tin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Jones earned her MFA from Ohio State University and her BA from the University of Kentucky, and teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro. She lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.

Author Residence: Greensboro, NC

Author Hometown: Russellville, KY

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“An exciting novel, with unexpected twists and turns and excellent character development.”—Los Angeles Times

“A deeply imagined, dystopian novel with beautiful prose and a superb understanding of human psychology.”—The Huffington Post

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