“A dreamy novel pulled along by a thread of emotion”. Los Angeles Times
My second novel, Water, was published in 1994 by Overlook (USA) and in 1995 by Five Leaves. Print copies can still be found for sale but now you can also read it free online or download a PDF at Google Books. The jacket for the Five Leaves edition is based on a work by my friend, the painter Sue Sareen.
After Correspondence I turned my attention to a different reading of physicality. The themes of Water are commonplace – divorce, motherhood, isolation, and reconciliation. So where Correspondence escapes the body, Water indulges it.
The book tells the story of a middle-aged woman who conjures a lover from a drop of water by the intense power of her imaginings. Computers and the internet make no appearance in this book but it’s driven by virtuality so strong it can create a man and sustain him within a dream. Water operates the mind beyond the constraints of the known physical world, and does so without either machines or prosthetics. It’s a book of darkness, floods, sex and ecstasy, addressing the sublime and accessing the dreaming self to visit the recesses of the body.
Writing Correspondence had been a highly cerebral experience, supported by a great deal of reading and research, but Water came out of nowhere and literally caused me nightmares. I even stopped writing it for six months in order to retrieve my unbroken nights. It’s probably the least successful of my books, but it makes for an interesting marker because it represented a very logical succession to the icy estrangement of Correspondence. Its intense imaginings were certainly forerunners to the immersion I was later to experience on the internet.
For more background on the book see my PhD Thesis A Journey of Integration.