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Astoria

Watermark

Written by Christy Ann Conlin

Published August 13, 2019 | ISBN 9781487003432
FICTION / Short Stories

Cover of Watermark

Regular price $19.95 CAD

232 pages | 8 in × 5.25 in
Print Format

About this book

Watermark

Christy Ann Conlin

In these evocative and startling stories, we meet people navigating the elemental forces of love, life, and death. An insomniac on Halifax’s moonlit streets. A runaway bride. A young woman accused of a brutal murder. A man who must live in exile if he is to live at all. A woman coming to terms with her eccentric childhood in a cult on the Bay of Fundy shore.

A master of North Atlantic Gothic, Christy Ann Conlin expertly navigates our conflicting self-perceptions, especially in moments of crisis. She illuminates the personality of land and ocean, charts the pull of the past on the present, and reveals the wildness inside each of us. These stories offer a gallery of both gritty and lyrical portraits, each unmasking the myth and mystery of the everyday.

About the Author

Christy Ann Conlin

CHRISTY ANN CONLIN is the author of two acclaimed novels, Heave and The Memento. Heave was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary journals, long listed for both the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the American Short Fiction Prize, and appeared in the anthology Best Canadian Stories. She lives in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.

Awards and Praise

PRAISE FOR CHRISTY ANN CONLIN AND WATERMARK

“Christy Ann Conlin’s stories achieve a dizzying balance of light and dark — the magical with the murderous. Over and over again, Conlin masterfully depicts the lush, somehow uncanny splendour of high summer only to chill us with a counterbalancing night world of hidden creatures and terrible human secrets. The results make for mesmerizing reading.” — Lynn Coady, author of The Antagonist and Hellgoing

“If you have faith in Flannery O’Connor’s fiction, or if you watch Werner Herzog’s films with a sense of awe, then Christy Ann Conlin’s collection of stories is for you. Equal parts lovely and loathsome, terrifying and tender, this elemental book works with the rawest of raw materials. This is honest and revealing writing from an artist at the top of her craft.” — Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting

“Watermark is propulsive. These linked stories are gothic dark and sparking with brilliant twists. Characters so vivid you can hear their voices, feel their pulse. Here are deep psychological fractures and betrayals, loss and longing. Adventure and abandon. Conlin’s characters are a splendidly complex; they are sometimes prisoners, and sometimes breaking free. This book is a dangerous joyride.” — Lisa Moore, author of Caught and Something for Everyone

“From the Gothic heart of the Annapolis Valley to the dreamlike shores of British Columbia, these stories sparkle with wickedness and dark beauty, reminding us again that Conlin is one of Canada’s most daring and original writers. The range and breadth of style and voice in this collection is astonishing, and her gift for the uncanny is as assured as her masterful writing. Whether it’s through the skewed vision of a heartbroken widower or the vivid delusions of an unrepentant killer, she presents a moving and uncompromising exploration of the deep undercurrents of the human psyche, and the tricks that our minds play — on ourselves and each other.” — Kerry Lee Powell, author of Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush

“Watermark takes us beyond mere appearances, offering intimate portraits of characters you quickly realize you only think you know. These are powerful stories that tell secrets — that are interested in, and unafraid of, all the messy details that make up a person, a life.” — Johanna Skibsrud, author of Quartet for the End of Time and The Sentimentalists

PRAISE FOR CHRISTY ANN CONLIN AND THE MEMENTO:

“Nothing short of dazzling . . . The dizzying speed of revelation produces, in its masterly way, the effect of what T. S. Eliot calls ‘genuine poetry.’” — Toronto Review of Books

The Memento is a classic spine-tingler, centering on a haunted house and children hovering between evil and innocence, power and vulnerability . . . Conlin’s novel lingers on relationships between children and servants, children and their (often absent) parents, and elderly relatives — all within the span of one sultry, sordid summer.” — Globe and Mail

The Memento is a novel of the uncanny, drawing together a coming-of-age story with elements of ghost stories, haunted houses, family curses, and folk tales. It’s a dizzying feat . . . a masterful accomplishment from a powerful writer.” — Toronto Star

“Expertly weaving gothic elements, maritime superstition, and the lingering effects of grief, The Memento is an eerie return to form — ceaselessly tense until the last page.” — The Coast

“Trust in Christy Ann Conlin. Follow the mythic thread she has expertly woven through this rich labyrinth of a novel and you will be transported. This is the work of a master storyteller operating at the height of her craft.” — Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting

“In this exuberant novel, Christy Ann Conlin offers us a grab bag of gothic delights — a creaking groaning mansion, a precocious twelfth-century-born twelve-year-old, tea parties with the dead, and an unnerving number of fleeting darting “somethings” only glimpsed in the corner of your eye. Wildly imaginative.” — Caroline Adderson, author of Ellen in Pieces

PRAISE FOR CHRISTY ANN CONLIN AND HEAVE:

Finalist, Amazon.ca First Novel
Finalist, Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
Finalist, Dartmouth Book Award
A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book

“Simply a marvellous book . . . The writing is fine, smooth, and tight. This is an honest tale of family love and hate . . . Heave is a powerful book. It’s hard to believe this author is just beginning. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next.” — Globe and Mail

“One book I will not be passing on is Nova Scotian writer Christy Ann Conlin’s marvellous first novel Heave. This book prompted a whelp of excitement from me.” — National Post

“[Conlin] has produced an extraordinary book . . . that won’t soon be forgotten.” — Toronto Star

“Conlin proves herself a keen observer of family life, adept at teasing out the loose ends and following them to uncover the lumps and knots in the fabric.” — Hamilton Spectator

“Highly visual and visceral prose . . . Right from the first line Heave is a crazy ride.” — Halifax Daily News