Award-winning debut novel from an Orange Prize Shortlisted writer.
Samantha Hunt was born in 1971 in Pound Ridge, New York. The Seas is her debut novel - it won the National Book Foundation's award for writers under 35 and was voted one of the Top 27 Books of 2004 by the Voice Literary Supplement. She is also the author of The Invention of Everything Else which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2009. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney's, Esquire, A Public Space, Cabinet, Tin House, Seed Magazine, New York Magazine, Blind Spot, Harper's Bazaar, and The Believer. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Samantha Hunt teaches writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
As the title implies, Hunt's first novel is a sea story featuring a narrator who fancies herself a mermaid. It's also an odd and fabulous tale in the true sense of the word, a fable based purely on imagination and legend. In a gloomy coastal town, the 19-year-old narrator waits for her father to return from the ocean he walked into 11 years before. Although presumed dead by the townspeople, he is not dead to his daughter (nor perhaps to his wife). He returns to her in visions and reminds her that as a mermaid, she belongs in the ocean, just as he does, and that she needs to join him there. There is a third person in this triangle-Jude, a part-time fisherman and Gulf War vet who is more than twice the narrator's age. In a mystical sort of attraction, the narrator falls for Jude at first sight, waiting for him to return her feelings and to come back completely from the war. While at first he is the playful, protective older brother, hesitant to get involved, his feelings deepen over time. A cross between Rosamunde Pilcher's Coming Home and R.A. Dick's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, this is a beautifully unconventional story. Recommended for academic and medium or larger public libraries.-Lisa Nussbaum, Dauphin Cty. Lib. Syst., Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
One of the most distinctive and unforgettable voices I have read in years. This book will linger . . . in your head for a good long time. -- Dave Eggers
An aqueous affair, flooded with water themes . . . Hunt's writing is free of affectation and carries surprising conviction. * The New Yorker *
[An] entrancing first novel. * San Francisco Chronicle. *
Hunt presents a convincing portrayal of youthful confusion...Such gray, Chekhovian moments mark Hunt as a writer to watch. * Time Out New York *
Urgently real and magically unreal...a breathy, wonderful holler of a novel, deeply lodged in the ocean's merciless blue. * The Village Voice *
[With] language at once poetic and precise...The result is a ravishing, utterly unique read. * Elle.com *
Samantha Hunt is an exciting find - a fresh original voice ... a fantastical love story ... literary gold ... It should appeal to fans of The Time Traveller's Wife and Donna Tartt. * Sunday Express *
Intelligent, compassionate ... beautifully conjured. * Daily Telegraph *
Characters are beautifully drawn and the world Hunt creates is quite haunting. * TheBookbag.co.uk *
Keeps the reader consistently surprised and enthralled * Books Quarterly *
A gripping tale * Observer *
Clever and intense. * Guardian *
A fantastical coming of age story. * Irish Times *