"A stylistic and psychological tour de force."
(New York Times Book Review)


Isolation and connection, hope and redemption, in an
ambivalent near future where the most dangerous place
is your own mind...


Published by Small Beer Press.

"Solitaire brilliantly explores...the dubious boundary between 'virtual reality' and the act of imagination -- all in the ageless story of a bright, risky kid trying to find out who she is and where her freedom lies."

Ursula K. Le Guin, author of the Left Hand of Darkness

"Kelley Eskridge uses all the best stuff -- passion and deception, devotion and betrayal -- to deliver a knock-out first novel."

Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

Buy the book

Jackal Segura is a Hope: born special and raised to a life of responsibility and privilege as a powerful symbol of a fledgling world government; destined for greatness. In a few months she will take up her role in the global administration, sponsored by the massive corporate entity that houses, feeds, employs and protects her and everyone she loves. And she's just discovered that everything she believes, everything she is, is a lie.

Then in a few short moments of horror and catastrophe, Jackal is a Hope no longer. She has become a pariah and a murderer, a person with no community, no future, disconnected from the world. She enters an experimental program designed to inflict the experience of years of solitary confinement in a few short months-virtual confinement in a sealed cell within her own mind, grief-stricken and alone, until the day her demons come out to play.

Then she's back in a world she no longer knows, branded and despised, struggling to make her way in a strange country. Now she has a chance to rediscover her life, her love and her soul -- in a strange place of shattered hopes and new beginnings, called Solitaire.

Solitaire is a New York Times Notable Book, a Borders Books Original Voices Selection and a Borders Books Best of Year Selection, as well as a finalist for the Nebula Award, the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, and the Endeavour Award. A film based on Solitaire is in development with Cherry Road Films.

"...a coming of age story done as psychological thriller: a compelling portrait of a young woman battling both the system and her self after her world collapses, to emerge older, wiser and sadder from an extremely long dark night of the soul."
Eve's Alexandria

"...[a] beautifully detailed, sometimes harrowing account of courage, cruelty, and survival... a remarkable, moving novel that is difficult to set aside, and equally difficult
to forget."
barnes &

"...takes the reader down to the bone...Eskridge's skillful use of detail, her strong characters and evocative settings, and her ability to take her readers on a spiral path to the innermost depths of an individual mind, and then back out again, make this a fascinating read."
Strange Horizons

"Vivid and provocative."
The Baltimore Sun

"As with Eskridge's short fiction, the vividness of the characters is what makes this book so memorable."

"...psychological insights that would warm the heart of Alice Hoffman."
The Seattle Times

"...a sheer delight to read such a coherent vision of the near future peopled not by androids or robots, but by flesh and blood human beings moving through their vividly detailed world."

Read a chapter of Solitaire

Chapter One of Solitaire -- the beginning of Jackal Segura's journey into herself

Listen to readings

Coming soon

Interviews and conversation

Lengthy interview at Gotta Write Network

Playing Nicely with the Business Kids
An interview with Broad Universe on the publication and marketing of Solitaire

Questions and Answers about Solitaire