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Book Cover for: Trashlands, Alison Stine


Alison Stine

A resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we love

A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn by floods and tides. Global powers have agreed to not produce any new plastics, and what is left has become valuable: garbage is currency.

In the region-wide junkyard that Appalachia has become, Coral is a "plucker," pulling plastic from the rivers and woods. She's stuck in Trashlands, a dump named for the strip club at its edge, where the local women dance for an endless loop of strangers and the club's violent owner rules as unofficial mayor.

Amid the polluted landscape, Coral works desperately to save up enough to rescue her child from the recycling factories, where he is forced to work. In her stolen free hours, she does something that seems impossible in this place: Coral makes art.

When a reporter from a struggling city on the coast arrives in Trashlands, Coral is presented with an opportunity to change her life. But is it possible to choose a future for herself?

Told in shifting perspectives, Trashlands is a beautifully drawn and wildly imaginative tale of a parent's journey, a story of community and humanity in a changed world.

"A harrowing vision of the future, and at its center is the tug-of-war between what is right and what is necessary to survive. This thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

Book Details

  • Publisher: Mira Books
  • Publish Date: Nov 1st, 2022
  • Pages: 352
  • Language: English
  • Edition: First Time Trad - undefined
  • Dimensions: 7.95in - 5.33in - 0.84in - 0.57lb
  • EAN: 9780778386926
  • Categories: DystopianFeministLiterary

About the Author

Stine, Alison: - Alison Stine grew up in rural Ohio and now lives in Colorado. Her first novel, Road Out of Winter, won the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award. Her second novel, Trashlands, was long-listed for the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award. Recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, she has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and elsewhere.

Praise for this book


"One part dystopian drama, one part love story, and one part meditation on a climate future none of us want but may well be hurtling toward anyway, Trashlands is a story unlike anything else...possibly that's hit shelves this year." -Culturesse

"Absolutely incredible... a real journey."

"Trashlands, the second novel by poet Alison Stine, is a haunted book.... Subtle but powerful... In Stine's novel, the relationships are what keep the survivors going. Even in times when basic needs necessitate constant work, love and art create lives worth getting up for.... Stine builds a world in which dark times have descended. And yet, she insists, the things that make us human persist. This is her ballad to love in a time of darkness--future and present." -LA Times

"Engrossing... A nicely balanced blend of dystopian tragedy, love, and hope." -Kirkus

"Stine's writing is clear, unadorned, and honest yet electrifying, much like her characters, and the story is a pleasure to read... Captivating." --New York Journal of Books

"A thought-provoking, harrowing feminist tale that is a natural extension of our current climate crisis.... Highly recommended." -Booklist, starred review

"[A] searing exploration of the lives of women who are mired in grinding poverty in a climate-ravaged near-future where plastic has become humanity's only currency.... a harrowing vision of the future, and at its center is the tug-of-war between what is right and what is necessary to survive. This painful, thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A triumph. Trashlands is that rare piece of cli-fi that reminds us that the apocalypse will not be evenly distributed. Poor people on the edges of the world where the water will rise strive here in Stine's prescient imagination: harvesting plastic, doing sex work, tasting the future that should have been in the last few cans of Coke. This book is as biting and sweet and as dark as that bubbling old-world treat.... It's about time someone sang us the song of trailer parks and strip joints of the post-apocalyptic South, and Stine has the right voice to do it.... Readers who want more like Atwood's The Year of the Flood or Valente's The Future is Blue will be lucky to wash up on Trashland's littered shores." --Meg Elison, Locus and Philip K Dick Award-winning author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

"Audacious, unsettling, and beautiful. Like all great apocalyptic stories--perhaps all great novels--it invokes both terror and tenderness. Stine is at the top of her game and Trashlands is a literary page-turner--fiction at its finest." --Bryan Bliss, National Book Award Longlist Author of We'll Fly Away

"Alison Stine's visionary novel Trashlands is beautiful and painful at once, much like the devastating world of the future that she sees to the page here. I was left in awe of her imagination and deeply moved by her brave and unforgettable characters." --Nova Ren Suma, bestselling author of The Walls Around Us

"I felt every single word of this prescient novel deep in my blood. Inventive, expansive, and wild at heart, Trashlands proves that a mother's love will outlast all else, even the earth's ruin. Alison Stine writes like no other--with trademark ferocity and covert warmth as her characters make miracles out of what the rest of the world threw away. Stunning, through and through." --Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner

Praise for Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award

"Richly imagined, deeply moving and unthinkably offers hope in a world that uncannily resembles ours currently in the thick of COVID-19.... Gloriously well-written." -Ms. Magazine

"A closely observed, evocative portrayal of place in a time of extreme duress. A warning about who we become and who we want to be in an uncertain future. Beautifully written and essential." --Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Hummingbird Salamander

"With echoes of The Road and Winter's Bone, Stine's latest is an excellent feminist dystopian novel of survival, desperation and, ultimately, hope.... Sublimely written and with much for book clubs to discuss, this book is highly recommended for all collections." --Booklist, starred review

"Blends a rural thriller and speculative realism into what could be called dystopian noir. The author's vision is profoundly moving... Readers searching for a novel fueled by fierce intelligence and empathy will find here a celebration of humanity, and a warning against its loss."--Library Journal, starred review

"Haunting... Stine's prose is crisp and atmospheric, and though bleakness abounds, the ending strikes a lovely balance of hope and pathos. Fans of climate fiction and found family stories will be entranced." --Publishers Weekly