Blue Ticket: A Novel (Paperback)
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From the author of the Booker Prize longlisted novel The Water Cure comes another mesmerizing, refracted vision of our society: What if the life you're given is the wrong one?
"Blue Ticket adds something new to the dystopian tradition set by Orwell’s 1984 or Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale." —New York Times Book Review
Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you've taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you're given is the wrong one?
When Calla, a blue-ticket woman, begins to question her fate, she must go on the run. Pregnant and desperate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself—and what that might mean for her child. With Blue Ticket, Sophie Mackintosh has created another mesmerizing, refracted vision of our world that explores the impossible decisions women have to make when society restricts their choices.
About the Author
Sophie Mackintosh is the author of The Water Cure, which won the 2019 Betty Trask Award and was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. In 2016 she won the White Review Short Story Prize and the Virago/Stylist short story competition. She has been published in The New York Times, Elle, and Granta, among others.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: THE GUARDIAN • MARIE CLAIRE
“From the powerful imagination behind The Water Cure comes a Handmaid’s Tale-esque dip into the fraught choice of motherhood.” —Elle
“[Calla’s] harrowing journey to take charge of her own future wrestles with timely, thought-provoking questions of fate, free will, and bodily autonomy.” —Esquire
“The cool intensity and strange beauty of Blue Ticket is a wonder—be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes.” —Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk and The Man Who Saw Everything
“Piercing moments of wisdom and insight . . . drive toward a pitch-perfect ending. . . . Adds something new to the dystopian tradition.” —The New York Times Book Review
“In this dark fable . . . Mackintosh sensitively conveys resonant questions about motherhood, female solidarity, queer love, and bodily autonomy.” —The New Yorker
“Mackintosh keeps the details deliberately vague, intensifying the mood of generalized dread. . . . Blue Ticket is not about whether women should have babies but about what happens to human beings when their ability to choose is denied.”
—The Washington Post
“[Mackintosh’s] style is spare but thoughtful. Every detail enhances the plot and the atmosphere. . . . Mackintosh lays bare many of the fears and realities that face any society’s women.” —Boston Globe
“Terrifying and enchanting in equal measure.” —Literary Hub
“Told with ragged prose that catches the breath, Calla’s journey . . . is marked by a claustrophobia that never stops pressing in from the margins. [An] unsettling reimagining of the anxieties and pressures around motherhood.” —The Irish News
“Mackintosh renders Calla’s internal struggle with deft, lyric precision . . . [and] brings a new sense of pathos to the dystopian novel. . . . A moving and original meditation on freedom, fate, and women’s rage.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[A] thought-provoking novel about fate, control, and biology.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Mackintosh’s haunting, dystopian tale explores the emotional fallout of forced birth control in a near-future society. . . . [A] tense, visionary drama.” —Publishers Weekly