Float

Nate House. Aqueous Books (Ingram, dist.), $14 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-0-9826734-7-8
In this gorgeous debut, everything—physical and metaphysical—is a metaphor: the sea, the desert, thirst, motion, and stillness. A man wakes up in an island hospital after surviving a trans-Atlantic sailing accident and 18 days alone on a life raft. He tells the authorities that a whale bumped into his 36-foot sailboat and that his wife went down with the ship, hands gripping the wheel. A reporter who grew up in a family of modest means and immodest acts, his father a drunk who abused his mother, the protagonist is haunted by the ghost of his wife, who appears in flashbacks as a beautiful, monstrous, snobbish nag. The stress of everyday life seems like it would kill them both, since they were only happy together when they were on the boat. When the man is released from the hospital, he flees, possibly away from the truth, but mostly from himself. As much prose poem as novel, this is a melodious, eerie wisp of a book. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/10/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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