Samantha Hunt's amazing first novel, The Seas, has been out of print for several years; I am so happy that Tin House has republished it in this gorgeous new edition, so that a whole new group of readers can enjoy Hunt's graceful, brilliant prose. The Seas is a beautiful and feverish tale of grief, love, and magic narrated by a possible mermaid. Hunt's unique voice and vision are intoxicating. Recommended By Jill O., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“The Seas took me back to how I felt as a kid, when you’re newly falling in love with literature, newly shocked by its capacity to cast a spell…” – Maggie Nelson (from the Introduction)
Moored in a coastal fishing town set so far north that the highways only run south the unnamed narrator of The Seas is a misfit. She’s often the subject of cruel local gossip. Her father, a sailor, walked into the ocean eleven years earlier and never returned, leaving his wife and daughter to keep a forlorn vigil. Surrounded by water and beckoned by the sea, she clings to what her father once told her: that she is a mermaid.
True to myth, she finds herself in hard love with a land-bound man, an Iraq War veteran thirteen years her senior. The mesmerizing, fevered coming-of-age tale that follows will land her in jail. Her otherworldly escape will become the stuff of legend.
With the inventive brilliance and psychological insight that have earned her international acclaim, Samantha Hunt pulls readers into an undertow of impossible love and intoxication, blurring the lines between reality and fairy tale, hope and delusion, sanity and madness.
“An aqueous affair, flooded with water themes...Hunt’s writing is free of affectation and carries surprising conviction.” The New Yorker
“The Seas reads as though...John Hawkes had sprouted Márquezian wings, Raymond Carver had lived to see Prozac proliferate....It’s the book’s emotional expressiveness...that ultimately breaks the mood’s prescribed monotony and lofts it above its precursors.” The New York Observer
“Creepy and poetic, subversive and strangely funny, [and] a phenomenal piece of literature.” Michelle Tea
“Hunt’s spare narrative is as mysterious and lyrical as a mermaid’s song. The strands of her story are touched with magic, strange in the best possible way and very pleasurable to read.” Andrea Barrett
“One of the most distinctive and unforgettable voices I have read in years.” Dave Eggers
“Urgently real and magically unreal...A breathy, wonderful holler of a novel, deeply lodged in the ocean’s merciless blue...[Hunt] sinks an anchor into the soul of its lost young protagonist.” The Village Voice
About the Author
Samantha Hunt's debut novel, The Seas, won a National Book Foundation award for writers under thirty-five. She is also the author of Mr. Splitfoot, Dark, Dark: Stories, and The Invention of Everything Else. Hunt's writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney's, A Public Space, Tin House, Cabinet, among others.