This is the news that is carrying me through 2020: Vanessa Veselka has a new novel coming in the fall! It’s called The Great Offshore Grounds and it’s coming August 25 from Knopf. It will be her second published novel.
I have been anxiously awaiting this book for years, because her first novel is one of my favorite books of all time! It’s called Zazen, and it is a cutting near-future satire about a city where a mad bomber is blowing up corporations while the population slides further into apathy and disillusionment. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It was my bestselling handsell in 2011 when I worked at a bookstore.
Seriously, I could not be more excited for her new novel if I swallowed a cat and broke out in kittens. It’s my most anticipated book of 2020 and I cannot wait to read it!
Now, without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to present the exclusive cover reveal of The Great Offshore Grounds by Vanessa Veselka! Take a peek and read the synopsis below. It’s so beautiful!
“From the author of the prizewinning indie-success Zazen comes a wildly original, cross-country novel that subverts a long tradition of family narratives—on sisters, mothers—and casts new light on the mythologies—national, individual, and collective–that drive and define us.
On the day of their estranged father’s wedding, half-sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It’s been years since the two have seen each other. Cheyenne is newly back in Seattle, crashing with Livy after a failed marriage and a series of dead ends. Livy works refinishing boats, her resentment against her free-loading sister growing as she tamps down dreams of fishing off the coast of Alaska. But the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what’s theirs. Except: instead of money, their father gives them information—a name—that both reveals a stunning family secret and compels them to come to grips with it. In the face of their new reality, the sisters and their adopted brother each set out on journeys that will test their faith in each other, as well as their definitions of freedom.
Moving from Seattle’s underground to the docks of the Far North, from the hideaways of the southern swamps to the storied reaches of the Great Offshore Grounds, Veselka spins a tale with boundless verve and linguistic vitality, a deep interrogation of American greed and mythology, and an undeniable tenderness—it is the first great post-capitalist novel of the 21st century.”
Here’s a bit about Vanessa Veselka: Vanessa Veselka is the author of the novel, Zazen, which won the PEN/Robert Bingham prize for fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House, Zyzzyva, and her nonfiction in GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Atavist, and was included in Best American Essays and the FSG anthology Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism. She has been, at various times, a teenage runaway, a sex-worker, a union organizer, an independent record label owner, a train-hopper, a waitress, and a mother. She lives in Portland, OR.