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Joseph Howse

The Girl in the Water


2023 NYC BBA Distinguished Favorite

The Girl in the Water is a novel about a group of young friends coming of age in Estonia and Ukraine in the last days of the Soviet Union. The novel explores the themes of life, choice, and trauma in the aftermath of the Afghan War, the Chernobyl disaster, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The novel is set against the backdrop of a failing civilization that sees non-cooperation and unhappiness as a disease. The young characters search for themselves within this society, often through acts of rebellion and nonconformity. At the center of the novel is Nadia, a Soviet girl who witnesses her friend drowning on a remote beach. Nadia is an abstract thinker who is coming to terms with the harsh realities of the world around her. She is a bookworm, a prankster, a wanderer, and a note-taker. She sees people gambling with their lives and souls for little apparent gain, and she wonders what she can do to make a difference. The Girl in the Water is a tragicomedy that explores the beauty and futility of everyday life. It is a call for compassion and humor in a cruel world.
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Publication Year:

Nummist Media



Category Awarded:


Literary Fiction

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