The Saltcutter’s Wife

A Novel Excerpt

by Rick Bass

Whenever the saltcutter, Max Omo, encountered bounty in that land of deprivation—be it salt or the heat, almost igneous in nature, that wrung all but the last of the water from his body and sent it in sheets down his chest and back—he fell even harder in love with the salt, without even realizing that was what it was, falling into the clefts between the bounty of one thing and the deprivation of another, falling through an incandescent pluming kaleidoscope of colors that belied completely the physical constraints of his salt-colored life and his methodical movements above.

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