We Live in Water: Stories (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Emily K's Staff Pick (November 2013): What a brilliant collection of short stories. Humorous and honest, dark and suspenseful: these are the stories of fallen men—gamblers and carousers, conmen, cheaters, and tweakers—all loosely connected by the place of Spokane, Washington. One of my favorite stories—“Virgo”—is about a washed-up newspaper columnist who, in order to torment his ex-girlfriend, tinkers with her horoscope in the newspaper each day.

— From Emily Katzman’s Staff Picks

March 2013 Indie Next List

“I defy any reader to pick up this amazing collection of stories and not want to read every book Jess Walter has ever written. His writing is staggeringly good. I found myself reading long into the night, not wanting to miss a word.”
— Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY


From New York Times bestselling author, the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter--a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him a bookseller and reader favorite

Stories in We Live in Water range from comic tales of love to social satire and suspenseful crime fiction. Traveling from hip Portland to once-hip Seattle to never-hip Spokane, to a condemned casino in Las Vegas and a bottomless lake in the dark woods of Idaho, this is a world of lost fathers and redemptive con men, of personal struggles and diminished dreams.

In title story "We Live in Water," a lawyer returns to his corrupt hometown to find his father, who disappeared 30 years earlier. In "Thief," a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family fund.

"Anything Helps" sees a homeless man try to raise money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book; and in "Virgo," a newspaper editor attempts to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by screwing with her horoscope.

Also included are "Don't Eat Cat" and "Statistical Abstract of My Hometown, Spokane, Washington," both of which achieved cult status after their first publication online.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061926624
ISBN-10: 0061926620
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: February 12th, 2013
Pages: 192
Language: English