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The Crack Magazine

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Salt Slow by Julia Armfield

In the world of ‘Salt Slow’, the debut short story collection from Julia Armfield, a young girl transforms into a praying mantis, a PhD student creates perfect men from stray body parts, and a teenager gains a wolf as a stepsister. There really aren’t any duds. ‘Granite’ and ‘Cassandra After’ are two devastating and relatable tales of tentative love, one within a heterosexual relationship, and the other between two women. The collection also hits on social issues of a bigger scale in the final story, ‘Salt Slow’, which follows a couple as they try to survive a great flood in a disturbing portent of the impact of climate change. Urban life is criticised in ‘The Great Awake’, which sees people forced into living as insomniacs as they are stalked by an anthropomorphised version of their own sleep. As addictive as it is unsettling, this collection explores girlhood, heartbreak and nature in a way that I’ve never read before. MG

Picador

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