The Water Dancer
A Novel, Paperback
In his boldly imagined first novel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Awardâwinning author of Between the World and Me, brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families. Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of herâbut was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home heâs ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginiaâs proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as heâs enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiramâs resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures. This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and childrenâthe violent and capricious separation of familiesâand the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of todayâs most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.