_ / is the story of a society where if you tell a lie, a scar appears on your skin. White lies are tiny scratches, bigger; lies are deeper and take longer to heal. And if you tell the same lie again, the skin reopens.
The title is written as an underscore and a forward slash, pronounced 'blank slash'. The story is devoid of any punctuation or capitalisation, to emphasise the _ and /.
The narrator is a skin screener, someone that counts scars and categorises people as a blank or slash, honest or liar, good or bad. Her job is boring, monotonous, spent dealing with the dishonesty of human nature. She counts the evidence, fibs, white lies, fabrications, half-truths.
Until a woman appears with only one scar. A deep scar that runs from her forehead to her toes.
In a 'Post-Truth' world filled with 'alternative facts', I felt that her story needed to be told. I wanted to push it in the opposite direction. What if the truth soothed, and lies hurt?
Through reading the story you come to realise that the narrator is a liar too.
The pages on the left are the truth.
The pages on the right are lies.
The book is designed to be read down the centre of the spine, acting as a division between the two sides of the story.
And neither side can be trusted.
Bound in Fenner Paper 'Redeem' 100% recycled paper 100gsm.