The Loosening Skin (Paperback)
Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, John W. Campbell Award, British Fantasy Awards and the Brave New Words Award.
A gripping and strange story of shedding skins, love and moving on from the award-winning author of The Beauty. Includes an exclusive short story set in the world of The Loosening Skin.
Rose Allington is a bodyguard for celebrities, and she suffers from a rare disease. Her moults come quickly, changing everything about her life, who she is, who she loves, who she trusts.
In a world where people shed their skin, it's a fact of life that we move on and cast off the attachments of our old life. But those memories of love can be touched - and bought - if you know the right people.
Rose's former client, superstar actor Max Black, is hooked on Suscutin, a new wonderdrug that prevents the moult. Max knows his skins are priceless, and moulting could cost him his career.
When one of his skins is stolen, and the theft is an inside job, Max needs the best who ever worked for him - even if she's not the same person.
Includes an exclusive short story set in the world of The Loosening Skin.
About the Author
Aliya Whiteley writes novels, short stories and non-fiction and has been published in The Guardian, Interzone, Black Static, Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as Fox Spirit's European Monsters. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice, and won the Drabblecast People's Choice Award in 2007. Her writing is often violent, tender, terrifying and funny. It has garnered much critical praise and provoked discussion.
The Loosening Skin is a sensuous, thought provoking meditation on love that deserves not only a second read, but a third as well. This book will cement Aliya Whiteley's reputation as one of the finest of a new generation of weird fiction writers. More, please.
– Helen Marshall, author of The Migration
Strange, confounding and satisfyingly original, Whiteley’s new novel is an exploration of relationships and the corrosive effect of time. A speculative enquiry into the meaning of freedom itself, the loosening skin will surprise and delight Whiteley’s existing readership and new fans equally. Above all, this is a book that will excite intense discussion.
– Nina Allan, author of The Rift
Aliya Whiteley’s fiction simultaneously scintillates with ideas, skips back and forth across genre boundaries with an ease and audacity that is glorious to behold, and retains such a sense of immediacy and emotional integrity that her readers are drawn into her worlds body and soul. She has the enviable ability to explore big ideas in the most intimate of settings, and to create wholly original realities that leap instantly from the page. for me, she is very much at the forefront of the new wave of UK genre writers.
– Mark Morris
"Its triumph lies in the way Whiteley uses the metaphor of shedding skin to examine the tortured process of love and attachment."
"Fascinating new work of fiction."
– Library Journal
"Beautiful, inventive, and moving. I couldn’t put it down."
– British Fantasy Society
"Aliya Whiteley’s work is bold, daring, unique and like nothing you’ve ever read before – if you read one book this year, let it be this! An enthralling story which redefines the science fiction genre and gives birth to a storyteller that will, I’m sure, define a generation!"
"The Loosening Skin is a brave and complicated novel."
– Neon Books
"This is a must read for all Aliya Whiteley fans, and a great place to start if you’re new to her work."
– Books, Bones & Buffy
"The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley is such a hard hitting novel that reaches you on so many levels. I wholeheartedly encourage every reader to pick [it] up. It’s the perfect introduction to an amazing author whom I’m frankly quite upset is still indie and not adored by legions of readers."
– Roadside Reader
"Very occasionally, I’ll read a piece of writing that takes my breath away. It’s rare, but it does happen from time to time. The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley has found a place on this very select list. Whiteley’s work picks apart the nature of love in all its forms."
– The Eloquent Page
"One of the most fascinating stories I’ve read this year."
– Runalong the Shelves
"She's a remarkable writer and this latest offering is a unique take on some of humanity's constant truths. It is beautiful, it is engrossing and it will remain with you for a long time. Read it!"
– The Middle Shelf
"The book totally blew my mind."
– Book Geek Says
‘[Whiteley is] no stranger to writing about the weird and frightening ways our bodies may betray us... a fantastic read’
- Fangirl Nation
"Impressive in the way it brings different aspects of this life-altering physiology — and extended metaphor for the lifespan of love — to the fore" – The Frumious Consortium