Cover image for The deeper the water the uglier the fish
Title:
The deeper the water the uglier the fish
ISBN:
9781937512750
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbus, Ohio : Two Dollar Radio, [2018]
Physical Description:
353 pages ; 20 cm
Summary:
It's 16-year-old Edie who finds their mother Marianne dangling in the living room from an old jump rope, puddle of urine on the floor, barely alive. Upstairs, 14-year-old Mae had fallen into one of her trances, often a result of feeling too closely attuned to her mother's dark moods. After Marianne is unwillingly admitted to a mental hospital, Edie and Mae are forced to move from their childhood home in Louisiana to New York to live with their estranged father, Dennis, a former civil rights activist and literary figure on the other side of success. The girls, grieving and homesick, are at first wary of their father's affection, but soon Mae and Edie's close relationship begins to fall apart--Edie remains fiercely loyal to Marianne, convinced that Dennis is responsible for her mother's downfall, while Mae, suffocated by her striking resemblances to her mother, feels pulled toward their father. The girls move in increasingly opposing and destructive directions as they struggle to cope with outsized pain, and as the history of Dennis and Marianne's romantic past clicks into focus, the family fractures further. Moving through a selection of first-person accounts and written with a sinister sense of humor, THE DEEPER THE WATER THE UGLIER THE FISH powerfully captures the quiet torment of two sisters craving the attention of a parent they can't, and shouldn't, have to themselves. In this captivating debut, Katya Apekina disquietingly crooks the lines between fact and fantasy, between escape and freedom, and between love and obsession.
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Book Fiction Apeki
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Book Fiction Apeki
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Book Fiction Apeki
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Summary

Summary

*2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Finalist
*A Best Book of 2018 --Kirkus Reviews, BuzzFeed News, Entropy, LitReactor, LitHub
*35 Over 35 Award 2018
*One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Fall --Vulture, Harper's BAZAAR, BuzzFeed News, Publishers Weekly, The Millions, Bustle, Fast Company

It's 16-year-old Edie who finds their mother Marianne dangling in the living room from an old jump rope, puddle of urine on the floor, barely alive. Upstairs, 14-year-old Mae had fallen into one of her trances, often a result of feeling too closely attuned to her mother's dark moods. After Marianne is unwillingly admitted to a mental hospital, Edie and Mae are forced to move from their childhood home in Louisiana to New York to live with their estranged father, Dennis, a former civil rights activist and literary figure on the other side of success.

The girls, grieving and homesick, are at first wary of their father's affection, but soon Mae and Edie's close relationship begins to fall apart--Edie remains fiercely loyal to Marianne, convinced that Dennis is responsible for her mother's downfall, while Mae, suffocated by her striking resemblances to her mother, feels pulled toward their father. The girls move in increasingly opposing and destructive directions as they struggle to cope with outsized pain, and as the history of Dennis and Marianne's romantic past clicks into focus, the family fractures further.

Moving through a selection of first-person accounts and written with a sinister sense of humor, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish powerfully captures the quiet torment of two sisters craving the attention of a parent they can't, and shouldn't, have to themselves. In this captivating debut, Katya Apekina disquietingly crooks the lines between fact and fantasy, between escape and freedom, and between love and obsession.

"The structure, characters and storyline are all refreshingly original, and the writing is nothing short of gorgeous. It's a stunningly accomplished book, and Apekina isn't afraid to grab her readers by the hand and take them to some very dark and very beautiful places."
--Michael Schaub, NPR


Author Notes

Katya Apekina is the author of the novel The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish . She has had stories published in The Iowa Review , Santa Monica Review , West Branch , Joyland , PANK and elsewhere, and has appeared on the Notable List of Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. She translated poetry and prose for Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008), which was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. She co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film New Orleans, Mon Amour , starring Elisabeth Moss, which premiered at SXSW in 2008. Born in Moscow, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Find out more here: apekina.com

Twitter: @katyaapekina

Instagram: @katyaapekina


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Apekina's ambitious debut begins in 1997, after teenage sisters Edith and Mae have moved to live with their father in New York City in the wake of their mentally ill mother, Marianne, entering a hospital for treatment. Edith, the older sister, wants to return to Louisiana to care for their mother, while Mae loves the distance and is enjoying getting to know their father, Dennis Lomack, a novelist who's famous for his depictions of life during the civil rights movement. The girls grow further apart: Edith sets off for Louisiana to help her mother while Mae gets uncomfortably involved in her father's creative process. Marianne, meanwhile, is portrayed only as a mentally unstable woman, never becoming a fully realized character. The novel attempts, with mixed success, to address many topics-such as mental illness, civil rights, family trauma, and sexual and artistic consent. Though there are some loose threads at the end, Apekina has nevertheless written a confident, piercing novel. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.