THE SWEETNESS OF WATER Trade Paperback

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An extraordinary debut of life after slavery for readers of WASHINGTON BLACK, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, and DAYS WITHOUT END.

In the dying days of the American Civil War, newly freed brothers Landry and Prentiss find themselves cast into the world without a penny to their names. Forced to hide out in the woods near their former Georgia plantation, they're soon discovered by the land's owner, George Walker, a man still reeling from the loss of his son in the war.

When the brothers begin to live and work on George's farm, the tentative bonds of trust and union begin to blossom between the strangers. But this sanctuary survives on a knife's edge, and it isn't long before the inhabitants of the nearby town of Old Ox react with fury at the alliances being formed only a few miles away . . .

Nathan Harris is a Michener fellow at the University of Texas. He was awarded the Kidd prize, as judged by Anthony Doerr, and was also a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction prize. THE SWEETNESS OF WATER is his debut novel. He lives in Austin, Texas.


‘That this powerful book is Nathan Harris's debut novel is remarkable; that he's only 29 is miraculous. His prose is burnished with an antique patina that evokes the mid-19th century. And he explores this liminal moment in history with extraordinary sensitivity to the range of responses from Black and White Americans contending with a revolutionary ideal of personhood. . . . Harris stacks the timbers of this plot deliberately, and the moment a spark alights, the whole structure begins to burn hot. If this is an era - and a genre - that has no room for encouragement,

THE SWEETNESS OF WATER is finally willing to carve out a little oasis of hope' - Washington Post


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