"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
"[It] blew me away because of the beauty of the language . . . I found myself highlighting about 85% of the book for the language. It is so beautifully written" Jodi Picoult
Moored in a coastal fishing town 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.
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.