Catch up on the essential new novel from the critically acclaimed, Booker-longlisted literary sensation Sophie Mackintosh - a gripping and transformative read
RECOMMENDED READING FOR 2020 by Stylist, Evening Standard, Esquire, Red, Daily Mail, Oprah Magazine, LitHub, and Emma Roberts's Belletrist Book Club
'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
'Definitely don't miss the return of Sophie Mackintosh... She's amazing' Stylist, Best Reads of Autumn 2020
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 children. A blue ticket grants you 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?
Blue Ticket is a devastating enquiry into free will and the fraught space of motherhood. Bold and chilling, it pushes beneath the skin of female identity and patriarchal violence, to the point where human longing meets our animal bodies.
'Dreamlike, tense, compelling, [with] a pitch-perfect ending' The New York Times
'Gripping, ethereal, atmospheric' Sunday Times
'Thoughtful and haunting' Observer
'Terrifying and enchanting in equal measure' LitHub
'Blue Ticket will worms its way under your skin and haunt your dreams' Red
Definitely don't miss the return of Sophie Mackintosh... Blue Ticket gets to the root of women's ambivalence and confusion around becoming mothers set against an unsettling dystopia; she's amazing
Dreamlike, tense, compelling... Blue Ticket adds something new to the dystopian tradition set by Orwell's 1984 or Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale... Piercing moments of wisdom and insight drive toward a pitch-perfect ending
The cool intensity and strange beauty of Blue Ticket is a wonder - be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes
Even more hallucinatory and spiralled than her first [novel]... Terrifying and enchanting in equal measure
The Handmaid's Tale as told by David Lynch... A bona fide chase narrative as well as a polyvalent, dream-like allegory of pregnancy and bodily change - not to mention the vortex of judgement that surrounds womanhood... Mackintosh is part of an exciting generation of writers, including Daisy Johnson and Julia Armfield... Blue Ticket stands apart from the crowd
One of the most disquieting novels I've read in a long time, Blue Ticket will worms its way under your skin and haunt your dreams
Gripping, ethereal, atmospheric... Mackintosh handles haziness deliberately and with poise, demonstrating the near impossibility of trying to articulate or rationalise maternal desire
Mackintosh writes with a language drawn from the body.... Impressionistic and haunting in equal measure
Visceral, primal, striking... This is a potent exploration of biology and agency, motherhood and childlessness, which confirms [Mackintosh] as a writer of note
Mackintosh is part of a new generation of female writers creating feminist fictions that relate uncannily to our dystopian times... [Her] fiction lives, to an unusual extent, in its musicality, in the rhythm and spareness of its sentences
From joyful illustrated classics to vital essay collections, these are the books our team of editors can't wait to put under the tree this year.
Trying to crack that opening line? Got a first novel lingering in a drawer? This year, on penguin.co.uk and the Penguin Podcast, we've chatted to lots of authors about their craft. Here's some highlights to give you a helping hand.