THE WATERS & THE WILD
By DeSales Harrison
Random House, April 3, 2018
Daniel Abend is a psychoanalyst and single parent in New York City, with a successful practice and a comfortable life: an apartment on the Upper West Side, a teenage daughter, a peaceful daily routine. When one of his patients commits suicide, it is a tragedy, but one easily explained: The young woman suffered from depression and drug addiction.
But soon after, Daniel receives an ominous note that makes him question the circumstances surrounding his patient’s death. He is provided with a provocative series of clues—a mysterious key, a cryptic poem, a photograph with a chilling message. A few days later, his daughter abruptly disappears.
Daniel is swept into an increasingly desperate search for his daughter, and for the truth—a search that stretches back decades, to when he was a young man living in Paris, falling in love with a woman who would ultimately upend his life. As he is tormented by a steady flow of anonymous letters, Daniel recognizes that he must confront the secrets of his past: There is a debt to be paid, an account to be settled.
“A cryptic, beguiling puzzle-box of a book, The Waters and the Wild is chilling in its acuity and deep in its sorrows. A mesmeric exploration of guilt in the vein
of Vertigo or The Secret History with the frantic nightmare-logic of a thriller.” — David Gilbert, author of & Sons
“Elegant, elegiac, enigmatic: three words to describe The Waters and the Wild. DeSales Harrison crafts a series of intricate psychological layers that blur the lines between what is past and present, real and unreal. A compelling debut that is equal parts character study and literary labyrinth.” —Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer
About the Author
DeSales Harrison is an associate professor of modern poetry and acting director of the Creative Writing Program at Oberlin College. He earned his BA from Yale University, his MA from Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD from Harvard University. He studied psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York. He is married to the literary critic Laura Baudot, has four children, and spends part of the year near Nevers, France.