Brandt & Hochman Agency
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HarperCollins (2013-07-13)
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by Daniel, Susanna

Set against the lushly tempestuous backdrop of Miami, a beautiful, page-turning novel about parasomnia, mutism, adultery and failure, focusing on a woman who ultimately must face the unthinkable choice between her husband and young son.

When Georgia Qullian returns to her hometown of Miami, her toddler and husband in tow, she is hoping for a fresh start. They have left Illinois trailing scandal and disappointment in their wake, fallout from her husband’s severe sleep disorder. For months, their three-year-old son has refused to speak a word.

On a whim, Georgia takes a job as an errand runner for a reclusive artist and is surprised at how her life changes dramatically. But soon the family’s challenges return, more complicated than before. Late that summer, as a hurricane bears down on South Florida, Georgia must face the fact that her decisions have put her only child in grave danger.

Sea Creatures is a mesmerizing exploration of the high stakes of marriage and parenthood.

Susanna Daniel was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her debut novel, Stiltsville, was awarded the 2011 PEN/Bingham prize for best debut work fiction. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and her work has been published in Newsweek, Slate, Epoch, and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and two sons.

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Susanna Daniel brings an uncommon intimacy to her characters’ lives, and also to the landscape where those lives unfold—a cartographer not only of the shore and the ocean but of the passions, bruises, joys, and insufficiencies of the human heart.

Quote: Kevin Brockmeier

A captivating and haunting novel about the complexities of the human heart and its attachments, terrain as slippery and beautiful and disaster-prone as Daniel’s South Florida.

Quote: Abraham Verghese, author

Susanna Daniel’s powers of creation are so vast, and the South Floridian landscape she describes so vivid, that this lifelong Manhattanite briefly thought of hurricane-proofing her own windows. But what I found most stirring in SEA CREATURES is how deftly Daniel exposes one of the most agonizing realities of parenthood: that no matter how hard we try, or how endless our love for our children may be, we are hampered by our own limitations, sometimes even tragically.

Quote: Helen Schulman, author

Don’t confuse the waterfront setting with light beach reading; this is substantive domestic drama…readers interested in families coping with disabilities will find Frankie particularly compelling as he navigates changing relationships and obstacles.

Review: Library Journal

Susanna Daniel is a beautiful writer, one of my favorites. She composes sentences elegantly, thoughtfully, with a delicate attention to detail…Daniel captures the richness of place perfectly—the humidity and heat, the watery canals threaded throughout Miami, the taste of salt that lingers in the air, the bougainvillea flowering everywhere. To read her novels is to know something of Florida…Masterful.

Quote: Roxane Gay

Daniel returns to Stiltsville’s South Florida in a second novel filled with domestic upheaval, difficult choices, and far-reaching consequences….Daniel’s verdant descriptions of salt and sea continue to shine, as does her portrayal of a mother struggling to protect her son.

Review: Publishers Weekly

There’s a charmer at the heart of SEA CREATURES, and it’s not the novel’s narrator, Georgia, who is plenty likable in her own admittedly stumbling, searching way. It’s her 3-year-old son, Frankie, whose refusal to talk has begun to weigh on Georgia’s marriage to the boy’s father, Graham. It weighs on the reader, too, as Frankie is recognizably bright, playful and inquisitive, but never quite ready to connect verbally…. As the novel turns into its final, suspenseful chapters, the voice of Georgia is at times softly rocking, almost elegiac. Of all the characters in her life, clearly the one she loves most of all is her mysteriously silent son, Frankie.

Review: Washington Post

An intelligent page-turner (that is, the dream combination) about, among other things, South Florida, art, insomnia, and marriage.

Quote: Curtis Sittenfeld

Powell’s Q&A: Susanna Daniel

Quote: PowellsBooks.Blog

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