The Salt Point

Anatole loves Leigh, “Our Boy of the Mall,” a great, adolescent beauty. Leigh is sleeping with Lydia, Anatole’s best friend, who’s fighting turning thirty. Chris was once the stunning object of Anatole’s desire and is now an unscrupulous friend to all and known to none. He isn’t telling anyone anything, except Leigh, who doesn’t want to know. Set in Poughkeepsie, New York, The Salt Point depicts four fates unwinding in a game of love. The mall in Poughkeepsie—with its hair salon, record shop, dress boutique, and bar—is Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street shot through with drugs and an atomic fusion of doubt. The “salt point” is that mysterious place in the Hudson River where fresh water turns salty, where the nature of things intermingles and confuses. So, too, these lives blend loss and hope, humor and sadness, union and alienation.


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“A wise, tender, and remarkably engrossing story about human affections—their power and illogic, their preciousness and unpredictability—and about how those affections flare and fare at the ‘salt point.’” — The Wall Street Journal


“If Tennessee Williams were young today and a Yankee, this is the novel he might have written. The Salt Point finds the sacred and poetic even in the slag heap of small-town America.” — Edmund White


“Like one of the nastier Henry James novels, The Salt Point shows how very possible it is for all of its characters to do unspeakable harm to each other, without allowing themselves to know what they are doing.” — The Village Voice


“Russell moves his characters into various striking arrangements with one another as deftly as a chess master and writes about their longings with cool, evocative precision.” — The Washington Post Book World

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