‘This fantastically strange, explosive debut novel entrances even as it unsettles. It’s so brilliantly written’
Ren Yu is a swimmer. Her daily life starts and ends with the pool. Her teammates are her only friends. Her coach, her guiding light. If she swims well enough, she will be scouted, get a scholarship, go to a good school. Her parents will love her. Her coach will be kind to her. She will have a good life.
But these are human concerns. The concerns of those confined to land. Ren grew up on stories of creatures of the deep, of the oceans and the rivers. Stories that called sailors to their doom. Stories that dragged them down and drowned them. Stories of the creature that she’s always longed to become: a mermaid.
Ren aches to be in the water. She dreams of the scent of chlorine – the feel of it on her skin. And she will do anything she can to make a life for herself where she can be free. No matter the pain. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter how much blood she has to spill.
In the vein of The Pisces and The Vegetarian, Chlorine is a powerful, relevant tale of immigration, sapphic longing, and fierce, defiant becoming.
‘Song’s harrowing novel subverts the standards of merfolk lore‘ – New York Times
‘This fantastically strange, explosive debut novel entrances even as it unsettles. It’s so brilliantly written‘ – Buzzfeed
‘A coming-of-age story with a touch of mystery and myth‘ – The Economist
‘Chlorine is a song of the deep. Deep obsession. Deep water. Deep yearning for a body where magic takes place. A story of longing and transcendence, Chlorine will take you on a journey you didn’t expect‘ – Caroline Hardaker, author of COMPOSITE CREATURES
‘This book was viscerally unnerving and I could not put it down‘ – Sarah Gailey, author of THE ECHO WIFE
‘Ren Yu is a fierce young woman who’s dreamed of mermaids ever since she can remember-dreams so vivid that the first touch of water in a swimming pool alters her life forever, sending her down a path that’s both beautiful and frightening. Chlorine isn’t just a coming of age story. It’s the tale of transformation from human to something wilder and more transcendent. It’s about love and longing and the willingness to do anything to become who you truly are‘ – Richard Kadrey, New York Times-bestselling author of the SANDMAN SLIM series
‘A strikingly original coming-of-age story . . . Full of contradictions, magnificently balancing and remarkably sustaining wonder with dread and magical realism with harsh reality, with a heartbreakingly beautiful and intensely uneasy tone, this is a story that will hold readers in its thrall. [A] great choice for fans of weird, immersive, female-driven body horror by authors like Julia Armfield, Cassandra Khaw, and Carmen Maria Machado’ – Booklist starred review
‘In Song’s disturbing and visionary debut, a child pushed too hard to succeed becomes a monster of her own making . . . It’s a singular coming-of-age‘ – Publishers Weekly
Jade Song is an artist, art director, and writer. Their stories and essays have appeared in Teen Vogue, Electric Literature, and various literary magazines. Chlorine is her debut novel. They reside in New York.