Originally published in 2004, The Seas is not your average twee mermaid affair. Hunt flips reality and language on their heads in this watery meditation on the "surrender places" of desire, trauma, and grief. A beautiful, if troubled, world beached on the thin space between the conscious and subconscious lies herein..— From Shannon
I'm not typically a binge-reader, but I couldn't help it with The Seas. I spent two enchanting days in this strange and singular world, a world soaked in saltwater and alcohol, a world different than our own, but only when looking at certain angles. This is a meditation on how desire acts on bodies, how it has the power to invade bodies and distort them into inhuman shapes (like mermaids), and also how it emphasizes corporeality at the same time. Hunt's language is original, arresting, and richly metaphoric. I can't remember the last time a book stayed with me for this long.— From Emma
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.