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Publisher Description

For every Oprah’s Book Club pick sold, Apple will make a contribution to the American Library Association to support local libraries.

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

“This potent book about America’s most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Nearly every paragraph is laced through with dense, gorgeously evocative descriptions of a vanished world and steeped in its own vivid vocabulary.”—Entertainment Weekly

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

Advance praise for The Water Dancer

“In prose that sings and imagination that soars, Coates further cements himself as one of this generation’s most important writers, tackling one of America’s oldest and darkest periods with grace and inventiveness. This is bold, dazzling, and not to be missed.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Coates brings his considerable talent for racial and social analysis to his debut novel, which captures the brutality of slavery and explores the underlying truth that slaveholders could not dehumanize the enslaved without also dehumanizing themselves. Beautifully written, this is a deeply and soulfully imagined look at slavery and human aspirations.”—Booklist (starred review)

Fiction & Literature
September 24
Random House Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

喜欢巧慧 ,

A great novel

Heard about this novel over Oprah’s Book Club and it doesn’t disappoint me.

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Not a fan

I liked the book until Harriet Tubman. I am really bothered by how the author distorted her history. Harriet Tubman was a hero to be celebrated but the magic got in the way for me. Harriet Tubman was larger than life because of what she accomplished but there was no magic involved in her heroic deeds. Adding this element of magic detracts from the humanity of her plight and puts her on a level that is unattainable for those hearing her story. Through this retelling, she no longer is a real-life hero but instead becomes a fictional character. It is the humanity of her struggles that makes her a hero. She did not rescue a slave and “poof” end up in the north through magic. She endured miles and miles of torture and fear. And she did it over and over again to rescue slaves. It’s SO important that be honored because her courage and fortitude is accessible within all of us. And, to bring about change in the world we Must access that courage.

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