For several generations, Katharine Haake's family has been intimately linked with the landscape and history of far-northern California. In That Water, Those Rocks, she offers a brilliant novel that interlaces autobiographical writing, natural history, and reflections on the craft of writing itself. Shasta Dam, the graceful, curved centerpiece of California's Central Valley Project, lies at the heart of this multi-layered work. The dam's construction, and the impact of its presence, becomes the obsession and occupation for all of Haake's characters. Containing and controlling the water of three northern California rivers, the dam also structures the characters' efforts to understand the past in an attempt to find the transcendent in what they have witnessed or learned - about vanished native peoples, for example, or lost intimacies between water, earth, animals, and humans. Haake's beautifully poetic prose crosses the boundaries of conventional fiction, assembling ways of knowing from several disciplines, moving effortlessly from the pragmatic world of dam engineers to a rich meditation on our relationship to place, to memory, to family, and to the larger human community. Hers is a unique voice, sensitive to the nuances of natural things and the quiet ways that humans bond to, hurt, and love both their physical place and each other.