Saturday 12 September 2015

Make Mine an Indie: Salt

Welcome back to Make Mine an Indie; a series in which I talk about independent publishers and some of the brilliant books that they are publishing! Each Saturday I choose a different publisher to talk about, focusing mostly on UK based small presses but also occasionally venturing further afield. 

This week's indie is one you may well have heard of as in recent years they have had books shortlisted for both the Man Booker and National Book Awards, as well as a host of other prizes. 


As you can see from their logo, Salt was published in 1999 and operates from the North Norfolk Coast. They publish a very wide range of genres and have a series called Earthworks which promotes and supports the writing of indigenous people in the Americas. They also publish a lot of poetry and anthologies alongside great British and world fiction and nonfiction. 

There is a ridiculous amount of choice on the Salt website and their books are widely distributed and available through major booksellers. You should really have a look for yourself but to get you started, here are a few of their new and forthcoming titles that I'm excited about:

The Black Country by Kerry Hadley-Pryce
From the Salt website

Maddie and Harry: she’s an estate agent, he’s a teacher. They’ll say they live in the Black Country. They’ll say how they met Jonathan Cotard, explain how they later argued, had a car accident, thought they’d killed someone. Thought they had. And as they search for a truth, they’ll tell us their secrets, their mistakes. And we’ll judge them. We'll judge Harry's fling with a schoolgirl and Maddie's previous life. We'll judge the nature of love and violence, good and evil. The Black Country. For Maddie and Harry, it’s darker than it should be.

The Beginning of the End by Ian Parkinson
From the Salt website:

Visiting Thailand to marry a sex worker, Raymond is informed that his father’s body has been discovered in an isolated villa on the Belgian coast. While his bride embarks on a career in the Dutch and German porn industries, Raymond moves into the villa with the intention of renovating the property.
Life by the sea, however, does not go according to plan.
The Beginning of the End marks the arrival of a bold new talent.

The Book Collector by Alice Thompson
From the Salt website:

Alice Thompson’s new novel is a Gothic story of book collecting, mutilation and madness. Violet is obsessed with the books of fairy tales her husband acquires, but her growing delusions see her confined in an asylum. As she recovers and is released a terrifying series of events is unleashed.

Kauthar by Meike Ziervogel
From the Salt website:

Lydia, a woman in her early thirties, lives in London. She lacks a purpose and loses herself in a string of affairs. When she meets Rabia, a convert to Islam, the Moslem rituals and the Arabic language offer her a new beginning. Lydia becomes Kauthar. She falls in love with Rafiq, an Iraqi-born doctor, and her life seems complete. But the terrorist attacks of 9/11 tests their relationship. While Kauthar becomes increasingly fundamental in her beliefs, Rafiq returns to war-torn Baghdad to work in a hospital. Kauthar follows her husband – and the consequences are terrifying.
Kauthar charts the life of a white British woman who converts to Islam. The story explores the reasons why and analyses the psychological factors that lead her to distort and misuse her religious faith. Ultimately, Kauthar is a novel about how longing for love can result in violent delusion.

Used to Be by Elizabeth Baines
From the Salt website

What if, in a parallel universe, you made a different choice of lover? What if you’ve spent your whole life with entirely the wrong idea about your own sister? What do you do if you’re trapped in a phone box by a woman who might be a victim, but could have accomplices nearby? What if we’re wrong that ghosts come from the past, they come from somewhere else? What if we’re only dreaming the life we think we’re living? And can your life be changed by a message written by starlings on the sky?
In Used to Be, a woman is driven at breakneck speed down a motorway, her life flashing before her, and comes to see that there’s never just one story of a life. An eighteenth-century gentleman’s certainty is challenged by a strange phenomenon, and a fatality on the line throws into disarray the lives of the passengers of an express train. Black holes and flooding can make us feel that the universe is running away with us and steal our certainty: can we ever say who we are really are? How reliable can memory ever be, and can looking for a ruined castle unlock the secrets of one person’s past? Is there ever one real story?
In the world of these short fictions, things are rarely what they’re first assumed to be. There’s always another story lurking somewhere…

Fly Away Home by Marina Warner 
From the Salt website:

A long-awaited new collection of Marina Warner’s short stories. Like her award-winning novels, Marina Warner's stories conjure up mysteries and wonders in a physical world, treading a delicate, magical line between the natural and the supernatural, between openness and fear.
Honestly I really wouldn't care what this book was about. If Marina Warner has written something then I'm there. I first encountered her work while writing my dissertation (on fairytales and feminism particularly featuring the work of Angela Carter, for those who don't know) and I've been a huge fan ever since. Once my ban is over I may even buy two copies of this; one for my sister who is equally fairytale obsessed. 

So there are more books here than I would usually mention but I just love the sound of pretty much everything in the upcoming catalogue! 
Find Salt at their website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Goodreads

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