The Watery Part of the World: A Novel

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Algonquin Books, 2011 - Fiction - 261 pages
4 Reviews
Michael Parker's vast and involving novel about pirates and slaves, treason and treasures, madness and devotion, takes place on a tiny island battered by storms and cut off from the world. Inspired by two little-known moments in history, it begins in 1813, when Theodosia Burr, en route to New York by ship to meet her father, Aaron Burr, disappears off the coast of North Carolina. It ends a hundred and fifty years later, when the last three inhabitants of a remote island--two elderly white women and the black man who takes care of them--are forced to leave their beloved spot of land. Parker tells an enduring story about what we'll sacrifice for love, and what we won't.

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User Review  - CasaBooks - LibraryThing

Saw a sentence in the book club notes - book is sometimes referred to as historical fiction, mystery and a long poem. I vote for the long poem. Wow - an interesting group of characters. Enjoyed the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rwilliab - LibraryThing

An unsettling meditation on isolation and interdependence. The narrative is at times disjointed and rambling, and the characters are for the most part unlikable and difficult to connect with. What I came away with from this novel was a greater appreciation for the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Read full review

Selected pages


I THEODOSIA BURR ALSTON Nags Head North Carolina
II WOODROW THORNTON Yaupon Island North Carolina
IV MAGGIE WHALEY Yaupon Island North Carolina
V THEODOSIA BURR ALSTON Yaupon Island North Carolina
VI WOODROW THORNTON Yaupon Island North Carolina
VII THEO WHALEY Morehead City North Carolina

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About the author (2011)

Michael Parker is the author of seven works of fiction, most recently the critically acclaimed novel The Watery Part of the World. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and many other magazines. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and three lifetime achievement awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature. He teaches in the MFA writing program at UNC-Greensboro and lives in North Carolina and Texas.

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