Nominated for a Hamilton Literary Award
Skinheads. Drug dealers. Cops. For two brothers-of-circumstance navigating the violent streets of this industrial wasteland, every urban tribe is a potential threat. Yet it is amongst the denizens of these unforgiving alleys, dangerous squat houses, and underground nightclubs that the brothers—and the small street tribe to which they belong—forge the bonds that will see them through senseless minor cruelties, the slow and constant grind of poverty, and savage boot culture violence. Friendship. Understanding. Affinity. For two brothers, these fragile ties are the only hope they have for salvation in the wake of a mutual girlfriend’s suicide, an event so devastating that it drives one to seek solace far from his steel city roots, and the other to a tragic—yet miraculous—transformation, a heartbreaking metamorphosis from poet and musician to street prophet, emerging from a self-imposed cocoon an urban shaman, mad-eyed shaper of (t)ruthless reality.
“[T]his is a strong debut, littered with glimpses of brilliance.”
“Baillie has written one of the most beautiful and moving stories about raw brutality—and the things brutality can never conquer—that you’ll likely find.”
“If you are looking for a story that is more in line with bubble gum pop rock, then keep on browsing the shelf for something safer. What We Salvage is a harsh story that holds nothing back much as life holds nothing back for the characters within its cover.”