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Waterbaby: A Novel by [Cris Mazza]

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Waterbaby: A Novel Kindle Edition


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Review

"A gripping tale of compulsion, obsession, and forgiveness, set so evocatively amidst the fogs and furies of the offseason Maine coast. It's also an intriguing exploration of the ways in which our ancestral pasts echo within our own psyches." --Lisa Alther, author of Kinflicks and Kinfolks

"Shipwrecks, doomed lovers, family secrets, sea-babies, toilet-babies, and historical-reenactment sex are but a few of the facets of this deftly kaleidoscopic novel. With Waterbaby, Cris Mazza shows us how, through resuscitating our pasts, and rescuing each other, we might just save ourselves." -- Alex Shakar, author of Savage Girl

"With the wickedly wry observation, 'Family is always best,' Chris Mazza pierces the heart of this big-hearted novel. Mean and funny and, ultimately, loving, Waterbaby is the pitch-perfect tale of an all-American family in gothic and comic splendor. This is a delightful and delightfully smart book. --Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of An Almost Perfect Moment

"Packs a lingering wallop." --Kirkus Reviews

"Titled after the Charles Kingsley fairy tale, this dizzying novel opens on epileptic, prematurely retired Tam Marr-Burgess, who is pushing 46, and whose attempt to collude with her landlady in a minor fraud goes very bad. The result is an immediate, spectacular eviction. As Tam lights out from the Chicago suburbs, Mazza (How to Leave a Country) sets up several parallel narratives, each of which has echoes of the other: Tam is headed for the family enclave in Maine, where she had her first seizure when swimming at school, was either saved (the official story) or sabotaged (Tam's version) by her elder brother, Gary, and never swam again. On arriving, she rescues an infant from a Laundromat toilet, and then hides the baby and its petulant teen mother at the family lighthouse. She also joins her amateur genealogist sister, Martha, in digging up information on three mysterious figures: a baby saved from the waves by Tam's lighthouse-keeper ancestors, a relative named Mary Catherine, and a local ghost-all of whom may have things to tell them about their own lives." --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Cris Mazza is the author of Charlatan: New and Selected Stories and Waterbaby. Additionally, Mazza has sixteen other titles of fiction and literary nonfiction including Something Wrong With Her, a real-time memoir; her first novel How to Leave a Country, which won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction; and the critically acclaimed Is It Sexual Harassment Yet? She is a native of Southern California and is a professor in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08TCH1TSB
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Soft Skull (10 September 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1509 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 252 pages

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In the first decade of the 21st century, Cris Mazza's work as a novelist expanded as she has continued to consider psychological and emotional complexities of contemporary life, but began to do so with the contributing complication of place: How regions or localities that still have their own unique characteristics of landscape, society, and culture impact the human experiences (sexuality, family, authority, gender) that Mazza explores in fiction. Her 9th book in 2001, Girl Beside Him, inhabits rural Wyoming. Homeland, (2004) involves a woman and her elderly father grappling with a 30-year-old family tragedy while they also find themselves homeless, living in the canyons of suburban Southern California alongside migrant agricultural workers. Indigenous / Growing Up Californian (2003), Mazza’s collection of personal essays, deals with place as it anchors memory and the reconstruction of experience. Waterbaby (2007) looks at how local 19th century legends still live and grow in a seacoast town in Maine. 2009’s Trickle-Down Timeline married time and place, returning to Southern California in the Reagan era 80s. Mazza’s forthcoming novel, Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls continues her unrelenting look at sexual anxiety, now expanding into the nearly unmapped world of outdoor sex slaves in Southern California, as a troubled woman trying to rescue one of them admits her horror has blended with envy.

In 1984 Cris Mazza's first novel (and 3rd book), How to Leave a Country, while still in manuscript won the PEN / Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction. The judges included Studs Terkel and Grace Paley. Some of her other notable earlier titles include Disability and Is It Sexual Harassment Yet? which was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.

A native of Southern California, Cris Mazza grew up in San Diego County. Her BA and MA were completed at San Diego State University, then she crossed the country to finish an MFA in writing at Brooklyn College before returning to San Diego where she lived several years training and showing her dogs, completing her first 4 books, and teaching at various local colleges and universities, including UC San Diego, and was Writer in Residence at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, then at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. Currently she is professor and director of the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.