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The Great Offshore Grounds: Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction

Vanessa Veselka

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A cross-country novel of sisterhood - like a feminist version of the ODYSSEY or a wild retelling of THELMA & LOUISE set across post-capitalist America.

'IT BLEW ME AWAY' Emma Donoghue, author of ROOM
'UNFORGETTABLE' Nathan Hill, author of THE NIX
'A BLAST' Karen Russell, author of SWAMPLANDIA!

On the day of their estranged father's wedding, half-sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It's been years since the two have seen each other - Cheyenne is newly back in Seattle after a failed marriage, Livy works refinishing boats - but the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what's theirs.

Except: instead of money, their father gives them information - a name - that reveals a stunning family secret. In the face of their new reality, the sisters each set out on journeys that will test their faith in each other, as well as their definitions of freedom.

Moving from Seattle's underground to the docks of the Far North, from the hideaways of the southern swamps to the storied reaches of the Great Offshore Grounds, this is an epic tale told with boundless verve, linguistic vitality and undeniable tenderness.

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Praise for The Great Offshore Grounds: Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction

  • A deeply moving picaresque... Veselka is a remarkable writer, able to break through the surfaces of her narrative to reveal the animal chaos underneath. - Los Angeles Times

  • This is a novel that feels like hitchhiking: the route is unpredictable but fated and exciting, with an air of treachery. - Vulture

  • Animating... In Veselka's telling the story is in fact about [vulnerable Americans] - and, with the necessary adjustments, countless other underprivileged men and women caught up in a system that has little use for their kind. - Boston Globe

  • The portrayal of the choices one must make when living paycheck to paycheck in late capitalist America is realistic and devastating. - Seattle Times

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Vanessa Veselka

VANESSA VESELKA is the author of the novel, ZAZEN, which won the PEN/Robert Bingham prize for fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House and her nonfiction in GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Atavist and was included in Best American Essays and the anthology Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism.
She has been, at various times, a teenage runaway, a sex-worker, a union organizer, an independent record label owner, a train-hopper, a waitress, and a mother.

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