Madelaine Lucas

Madelaine Lucas is a senior editor of NOON and teaches fiction at Columbia University. She is from Sydney, Australia, and lives in Brooklyn.


  • A mesmerizing portrait of a romance with graceful, seductive writing. . . . This novel has a sea glass quality—time-worn, beautiful, worth holding onto.


  • Luscious and melancholy. . . . Sensual and electric.

    —Foreward Reviews, Starred Review

  • Lucas’ meditation on relationships is masterful. . . . [her] portrayal of love and desire exerts a wonderful pull.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • Intelligent. . . . Lucas
    keenly captures the relationship’s slow erosion, as well as the
    narrator’s ability to make sense of her past while looking back on it.
    The author’s psychological acuity will keep readers piqued.

    —Publishers Weekly

  • Lucas is a wonderful writer.


  • Captivating. . . . this debut novel about a long-ago love affair revels in the lyrical language that describes its rugged landscape and the emotional intensity of new love.

    —Shelf Awareness

  • Seductive and tender. . . . an engrossing page-turner.


  • A sensual coming of age novel.


  • Madelaine Lucas’s Thirst for Salt gripped me immediately, with the tender acuity of its voice and the propulsive electricity of the relationship at its core: a love affair so richly and attentively imagined it carries the grace and gravity of memory itself. It’s a novel whose momentum emerges not from melodrama but from the primal mysteries of human intimacy: How do people come together and come apart? Every once in a while, a novel enters my life that I know is destined to become part of my bloodstream. Thirst for Salt is one of those novels and I’m so excited to think of it finding its way to readers who will be changed by it.

    —Leslie Jamison

  • This novel is a beautiful, melancholy tide. I felt inexorably pulled to it, and by it. Lucas is a brilliant conjurer of emotional and bodily longing. I felt, while avidly turning the pages, that briny tightness of the skin, as though I’d sat in the hot sun after an ocean swim. Thirst for Salt is a sensuous, visceral debut.

    —Heidi Julavits

  • Thirst for Salt is an exquisite, magnificent gem of a book. While Madelaine Lucas’s style is delicate and spare, her story is one of searing power—the story of a young woman’s exploration of the fraught, often dangerous, forces of love, motherhood, art, and wilderness. Thirst for Salt is a revelation, with a quietly radical view of female desire and independence, and Lucas is a brilliant new voice—compassionate, daring, heartbreaking. It’s no surprise that she is also an acclaimed musician, for this debut novel is full of verve and beauty, and it stays with you like a charged, lingering melody.

    —Rebecca Godfrey, bestselling author of Under the Bridge