The Inland Sea

Madeleine Watts (Author)
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Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Publish Date
January 12, 2021
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About the Author

Madeleine Watts grew up in Sydney, Australia and currently lives in New York. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, and her fiction has been published in The White Review and The Lifted Brow. Her novella, Afraid of Waking It was awarded the Griffith Review Novella Prize. Her non-fiction has appeared in The Believer, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Literary Hub. The Inland Sea is her first novel.


A Bustle Most Anticipated Book of the Year
A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of the Year

The Inland Sea, Madeleine Watts' stunning debut novel, is a book about emergencies both big--climate change--and small--regrettable romantic hookups, clumsy IUD insertions . . . Watts captures the urgency of life right now, the particular blend of desire and destructiveness that comes with feeling like there is no longer a guarantee of tomorrow. And while The Inland Sea might not do much to ease the anxiety of these times, reading and getting lost in the shimmering sentences does feel a little like finding a small and perfect oasis in the midst of all the fires that burn around us. --Kristin Iversen, Refinery29, One of the Best New Books of the Year

The Inland Sea is a slow burn of a self-destructive woman struggling to make it through. --Alma, A Favorite Book for Winter

Watts expertly weaves two stories, told centuries apart, to reveal how our anxieties about our place in the world and the safety and future of the world have remained unchanged. --Adam Vitcavage, Debutiful, One of Ten Debuts to Read This Month

An unnamed protagonist watches Australia burn as her body burns along with it . . . People around her experience disasters, and she keeps herself outside. She goes through trauma, and she doesn't know she's the one screaming. Magnificently uncomfortable. --Kirkus Reviews

Australian writer Watts punctuates her eloquent debut with deep-seated anxiety about climate change . . . The prose is consistently rich and loaded with imagery. Watts's bold, unconventional outing makes for a distinctive entry into climate fiction. --Publishers Weekly

An eyecatcher in both premise and language, which is rough-and-tough, visceral, and absorbing. --Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

This is a coming-of-age novel fit for the crippling uncertainty of twenty-first-century young adulthood . . . The powerful metaphors, relatable negotiation for a satisfying livelihood, and ethereal setting make Watts' debut a can't-miss. --Booklist

Joins recent efforts like Richard Powers's The Overstory and Jenny Offill's Weather--two novels that have bent the genre norms of realism to ecocritical ends . . . The large crises of the novel are shot through with smaller pains--indignities and heartbreak and badly inserted IUDs that serve as micro indices for other kinds of harm . . . In carefully lining up climatological events and the banalities of breakups, The Inland Sea suggests that climate crisis may very well be representable within the generic containment of everyday life. First we just need to acknowledge that the anguish of an English tearoom and the anguish of geohistorical catastrophe might be happening simultaneously. -Molly MacVeagh, Los Angeles Review of Books

Watts has produced a model of autofiction in the age of climate disaster, a genre sure to dominate the coming era . . . Introspective with a febrile realism that borders on the surreal, Madeleine Watts's The Inland Sea is as evocative and haunting as works by Samantha Hunt or Ottessa Moshfegh. --Emma Levy, Shelf Awareness