River Meets the Sea
by Rachael Moorthy
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Pub Date 30 May 2023 | Archive Date 19 Jul 2023
House of Anansi Press Inc., House of Anansi Press
A spellbinding, spirited tale of two men exploring masculinity, race, and belonging in a desperate search to feel at home in their own skins.
An enthralling nautical epic, River Meets the Sea traces the dual timelines of a white-passing Indigenous foster child in 1940s Vancouver and a teenage immigrant in the suburbs of Nanaimo in the 1970s.
A natural-born storyteller, Ronny is a left-handed “alley mutt” without a birth certificate who searches for his mother everywhere — most powerfully, he hears her voice in the surging Stó:lō River. Born in the middle of the ocean on a merchant ship departing Sri Lanka, Chandra is a Tamil boy with “skin like a charred eggplant” who finds his haven from the pressure to assimilate by swimming and surfing in the Salish Sea.
Moving gracefully between these parallel stories like a wave, the novel traces the seemingly separate lives of these sensitive young men and their everlasting connections to water. When their troubled paths inevitably cross, they form a sacred bond based on the mutual understanding of what it means to be othered, illuminating the interconnectedness of humanity and our innate relationship with the natural world.
“Rachael Moorthy’s writing is driven by an innate creative curiosity, interrogating history, identity, and the human condition, and always rooted in deep artistic and moral convictions.”
— Lee Henderson, author of The Road Narrows as You Go