“An arresting and beautifully written novel” about a young woman who yearns to escape her life in Louisiana, by a Pulitzer Prize–winning author (The New York Times).
West of New Orleans among a few small Gulf islands lies the Isle aux Chiens, a tiny, impoverished strip of land burdened by intolerable heat and roaming packs of wild dogs. Here a handful of Creole families eke out a meager existence by fishing the Gulf waters. Such is the fate of Al Landry and his seventeen-year-old daughter, Annie. All Annie has ever known is the wild sea, but she longs for other people and places, including the glamor of life in the Big Easy. When a cruel, handsome sailing boat pilot from the city passes through, he kindles Annie’s fantasies for a life beyond the island. Soon, the young girl faces a decision: remain planted in the predictable life she has always known, or toss it all aside for her dreamed-of adventure.
Elsewhere on the island, eighteen-year-old Henry Livaudais disappears on a hunting expedition, sparking a feud with a neighboring settlement of Yugoslavian oystermen. As the summer heat intensifies, his father tries to discover why Henry left the isolated fishing settlement.
By the author of The Keepers of the House, this novel follows two teenagers on the cusp of adulthood as they look for an escape from their Southern homes. The National Book Award–shortlisted author establishes herself as the master chronicler of bayou life in this debut novel that captures the complexities of the Deep South’s most impoverished corners.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Shirley Ann Grau, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.