Join us for a reading with DeSales Harrison, who will be reading from his debut novel, The Waters & the Wild. This event will be free and open to the public.
Daniel Abend is a psychoanalyst and single parent in New York City, with a successful practice and a comfortable life: an apartment on the Upper West Side, a beautiful teenage daughter, a peaceful daily routine. When one of his patients commits suicide, it is a tragedy, but one easily explained: the young woman suffered from depression and drug addiction.
But soon after, Daniel receives an ominous note that makes him question the true nature of his patient’s death. He is provided with a provocative series of clues—a mysterious key, a cryptic poem, a photograph with a chilling message. A few days later, his daughter abruptly disappears.
Daniel is swept into an increasingly desperate search for his daughter, and for the truth—a search that stretches back decades, to when he was a young man living in Paris, falling in love with a woman who would ultimately upend his life. As he is tormented by a steady flow of cryptic letters, Daniel recognizes that he must confront the secrets of his past: there is a debt to be paid, an account to be settled.
With lyrical prose and masterful plotting, The Waters & The Wild is a sophisticated and surprising literary debut—a story that begins as a whodunit but ends with a profound and haunting consideration of what it means to love, to err, and to forgive.
"Elegant, elegiac, enigmatic: three words to describe The Waters & The Wild. DeSales Harrison crafts a series of intricate psychological layers that blur the lines between what is past and present, real and unreal. This is a compelling debut that is equal parts character study and literary labyrinth."
Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club
DeSales Harrison is an associate professor of modern poetry and acting director of the Creative Writing Program at Oberlin College. He earned his BA from Yale University, his MA from Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD from Harvard University. He studied psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York. He is married to the literary critic Laura Baudot, has four children, and spends part of the year near Nevers, France.