“Blue Ticket is a wonder... Be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes.” — Deborah Levy
From the “ingenious and incendiary” (The New Yorker) author of the Booker Prize longlisted novel The Water Cure comes another mesmerizing, refracted vision of our society: In a world where women can’t have it all, is choice the biggest burden of all?
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. But her survival will be dependent on the very qualities the lottery has taught her to question in herself and on the other women the system has pitted against her. Pregnant and desparate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what that might mean for her child.
An urgent inquiry into free will, social expectation, and the fraught space of motherhood, Blue Ticket is electrifying in its raw evocation of jealousy and desire and riveting in its undeniable familiarity.
Sophie Mackintosh is the author of The Water Cure, which was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and won the 2019 Betty Trask Award. 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 magazine, among others.