`All the time on the island there had been something she was looking for. She knew she had to keep this in mind, and that she'd know what it was when she found it. Whatever it proved to be.' It's 1956 and Iola arrives on the island of Ibiza, on the fringes of Franco's Spain, with little more than a Spanish phrasebook and an imagination shaped by literature and movies. Soon she meets a fascinating American photographer who falls in and out of focus: is he really a photographer, and who exactly is the German doctor he keeps asking her about? Nothing is stable or quite as it seems, and the mysterious doctor, when he appears, takes Iola for a picnic on a salt island, where she is brought close to a brighter, harsher reality. Salt Picnic is a beguiling novel about mistranslation, fantasy and the historical echoes of ideology, by the author of Gifted and The Back of His Head.