Properties of Thirst


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
5.59 X 8.41 X 1.48 inches | 0.98 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Marianne Wiggins is the author of eight novels, including John Dollar and Evidence of Things Unseen, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award. She has won a Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Heidinger Kafka Prize, and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. She lives in Venice, California.


*Listed as one of The New Yorker's Best Books of 2022*

"Legitimately great.... This is a big, bold book, generous of spirit and packed with prose that gleefully breaks the rules.... It speaks to the heart as well as the head, and conjures characters to whom you won't want to say goodbye."--USA Today

"This is a love story. Or rather, several love stories.... 'You can't save what you don't love, ' reads the declarative sentence that opens the novel. It becomes the theme that ties together the disparate characters as they attempt to save the water, save the land, save their families and ultimately save themselves. And it describes the novel that mother and daughter have saved together."--Los Angeles Times

"Wiggins's wordplay is stellar... the dialogue is full of grit, and Wiggins manages to capture a big swath of mid-century America by placing a blue-blooded family into a desert inland complete with adobe haciendas, desert blooms, and Hollywood movie sets...Wiggins's masterpiece is one for the ages."--The Millions

"A sweeping, cinematic story of love and family set against the dramatic backdrop of World War II and the American West.... What makes the novel soar is the way Wiggins can evoke landscapes both interior and exterior, especially the expansive valley that has come to exemplify America's best qualities--and its worst. This majestic novel will satisfy those thirsting for an epic saga of love, family, and the complexities of the American way."--Kirkus *Starred Review*

"Wiggins manages to capture a big swath of mid-century America by placing a blue-blooded family into a desert inland complete with adobe haciendas, desert blooms, and Hollywood movie sets, while throughout, the Rhodes hold out hope for Stryker's survival. Wiggins's masterpiece is one for the ages."-Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

"[a] grand novel of principled and creative individuals caught in the vise of history... Loss, desire, moral dilemmas, reflection, and zesty dialogue with the do-good energy of Frank Capra films generate a WWII home front tale of profound and far-ranging inquiry and imagination, scintillating humor, intrepid romance, and conscience."--Booklist *Starred Review*

"Masterful.... Readers won't be able to look away. Wiggins' characters are raw and honest... [her] writing, which can be fragmented or polished depending on the page, opens up microscopic universes and sprawling landscapes alike. It's a joy to read."--Bookpage *Starred Review*

"A sweeping, affecting story about family, property, and the soul of America might sound ambitious, but it's carried off with seeming ease by Marianne Wiggins, the award-winning author of Evidence of Things Unseen. This new novel follows a 1940s California family whose closely guarded land gets an unexpected neighbor when an internment camp is set to be built nearby, and examines love, loss, and what it truly means to be at home."--Town & Country

"A rich historical fiction centered on a Southern California ranch family circa WWII and shot through with shades of Chinatown." -Entertainment Weekly

"This magnificent novel opens every little nerve of language and sends jolts of electricity along the spine. It's a love story, and a family tale, and a song of history. It's about shame and loss and recovery and beauty. It's a novel to cherish, composed with great humanity and humour."-Colum McCann

"A changing American landscape is beautifully portrayed in PROPERTIES OF THIRST, a moving and gripping new novel by Marianne Wiggins. At the start of World War II, while Japanese families are relocated to Manzanar, the Rhodes family, who live on a ranch near the camp are equally uprooted by memories and circumstances. What follows is a rich and powerful portrayal of love, loss, and the enduring strength of family. A novel to be read and savored."--Gail Tsukiyama, bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai's Garden

"This is a novel I wish I could have written. Keen, unsparing, and compassionate, Properties of Thirst reveals a world and a history I thought I knew, in language so beautiful, it took my breath away. Vividly alive, these characters mirror our present moment, our complex ties to this land and to each other, our most profound alienations and our fiercest loves."-Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

"'Properties of Thirst' is a graceful and arresting meditation on the dark nature of greed and desire in the face of dwindling natural resources and pernicious xenophobia. It is impossible to read this novel and ignore the fact that the unscrupulous choices we've made in the past are the ones we're still making, ones that, if we're not able to look at ourselves with the moral clarity Wiggins brings to her fiction, we will continue to make."-Marisa Silver, author of The Mysteries, and Mary Coin