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young adults

Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson

Mark Siegel.
Publisher First Second  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.75 x 6.25 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9781596436367
Pages/Publication Date 400/2012
Daedalus Item Code 54546
This item is not available.
More than a hundred years ago, on the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain named Twain rescues an injured mermaid and nurses her back to health aboard the Lorelei. The French nobleman Lafayette, the riverboat's owner, seeks a remedy for his curse through his many lovers. And on the shore a hugely popular, notoriously reclusive author makes a public debut, having published a book that may save both Twain and Lafayette. Originally published online in serial form between 2010 and 2012, Mark Siegel's haunting graphic novel is a mysterious and beguiling love story with elements of Poe, Twain, and Hemingway, as well as Greek mythology, drawn in moody and sensuous charcoal drawings.

"I had a most engaging voyage on the doomed Lorelei, and I much enjoyed meeting young Captain Twain—not to mention the mermaid in the Hudson. This is a gripping novel with compelling characters, enhanced by haunting, erotically charged drawings."—John Irving

"Siegel has drawn both a graphic novel and his own picture books, but in this spellbinding work his art takes both a giant step forward and a drifting look back. Rendered entirely in charcoal pencil, the panels evoke both the misty haze of river water and a foggy cloud of memory, as Captain Twain recounts an episode aboard the Lorelei, a luxury steamboat on the mighty Hudson River in 1887. Life on board has Twain suspended between tending the ship and its needy passengers and barely tolerating the French cad who owns the liner and uses it as grazing ground for his sexual exploits—until the night he finds a harpoon-pierced mermaid clawing her way aboard. As he secretly nurses her back to health in his cabin, Twain falls under a many-layered siren song of physical desire, creative inspiration, and emotional severance from his life on land and ailing wife at home. Siegel's novel of obsessive romance and mythological realism churns through deep pools of humor, passion, and darkness. Studied panoramas of the intricate working of steamboats will steal away whatever breath you have left over from the mermaid's beauty and the story's outright tension as it steers toward a complex, catastrophic climax. Though serialized online, this is a luxurious graphic novel in its print form and is absolutely not to be missed."—Booklist (starred review)

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