Canadian author receives international recognition through the NYC Big Book Award®
— Rob Errera
BROOKLYN, NY, UNITED STATES, October 11, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — The NYC Big Book Award recognized The Girl in the Water as Distinguished Favorite in the Literary Fiction category.
The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.
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.
“Howse evokes the literary styles of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky … Howse’s novel feels Russian, from its ornate structure to its social commentary to its wry humor. The author has composed a book like Tchaikovsky would a symphony; tight, disciplined, yet bubbling with unspoken passion and near-magical allegory.” —Rob Errera, IndieReader
Synopsis: The Girl in the Water is the story of a multiethnic group of young friends, coming of age in Estonia and Ukraine in the last days of the Soviet Union. Their lives are shaped by an Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the collapse and legacy of a suffocating society.
“A resilient coming-of-age story … The author includes emotional, compelling scenes with every character, as each one has been dealt a vastly different hand of cards. … It feels very down-to-Earth and includes necessary comical moments throughout.” —Audrey Davis, Independent Book Review
Having won the Independent Press Award in Literary Fiction in the spring of 2023, Howse expressed his gratitude to the award program, citing a distinct relationship of recognition, acceptance and sales as a result. With small, but global, sales and libraries now consuming The Girl in the Water, Howse looks forward to his next book, releasing late in 2024.
Joseph Howse, author of The Girl in the Water, speaks with the President of the NYC Big Book Award and Independent Press Award Gabrielle L. Olczak.