Trashlands

Alison Stine, 1978-

Book - 2021

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&#...039;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.

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Subjects
Genres
Dystopian fiction
Novels
Romance fiction
Published
Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Mira [2021]
Language
English
Physical Description
381 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780778311270
0778311279
Main Author
Alison Stine, 1978- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Coral, like many of the residents of Scrappalachia, is a plucker, picking plastic out of water and forests. Rising tides and floods have moved the East coast further inward and a global ban on plastics production has made existing plastic the only money that matters. The plucked plastic is remade into bricks to rebuild the newly coastal cities. There is, however, no rebuilding of Scrappalachia; there is only hardship, plucking, and fear. Coral is able to find some small beauty by creating art out of plastic that cannot be sold. Other women are not so lucky. Many work in Trashlands, a strip club run by the vile Rattlesnake Master. Men, drawn by the neon lights, come in droves, adding even more danger to the already perilous lives of women in Scrappalachia. In her second dystopian noir novel (after Road out of Winter, 2020), Stine has once again written a thought-provoking, harrowing feminist tale that is a natural extension of our current climate crisis. Beyond the prescient plot, Stine's characters shine with rich interior lives. Like Coral and her art, the characters create love, small comforts, and joy amidst their grueling day-to-day existences. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In an environmentally wrecked near-future, plastic is the main currency, and migrant workers like Coral survive by harvesting it from the fields and streams to sell. Coral herself is saving money to rescue her son, kidnapped by child labor traffickers seven years previously, while creating sculptures from refuse that she places anonymously in the woods. (Such is the enduring value of art.) When an accident takes all her savings, Coral must decide whether to become a dancer at Trashlands, the strip joint dominating the garbage dump where she lives. Following the LJ-starred Road out of Winter; with a 50,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Philip K. Dick Award winner Stine (Road Out of Winter) sets this 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. The sordid strip club Trashlands in flood-prone "Scrappalachia" serves as the narrative hub as the novel shifts through multiple characters' recollections and struggles. Among the expansive cast are the good-hearted sex-workers Foxglove and Summer; the vile Rattlesnake Master; single mother Coral, a scavenger of plastic who makes eerie art out of garbage; Coral's lover, Trillium; the idealistic reporter, Miami; and the aging Mr. Fall, a teacher who agrees to help Coral find her stolen son. "You couldn't be picky and live" in this rotting junkyard where women are treated as disposable and life comprises a heartbreaking miasma of hunger, yearning, ruthlessness, and compassion. Stine draws on her personal experience of today's Appalachia to craft 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. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Oct.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn by floods and tides...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...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?"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Plucking plastic, which is now currency, from rivers and fields to sell or trade, artist Coral is forced to dance at Trashlands to recoup her savings in an attempt to rescue her son from the recycling factories, in this love story to survival in an unloved place. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"This thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders.” –Publishers Weekly starred reviewFrom the author of Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, comes a resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we loveA 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 tale that is a natural extension of our current climate crisis.... Highly recommended.” –Booklist, starred review