Advance Praise for Float:
In this gorgeous debut, everything--physical and metaphysical--is a metaphor: the sea, the desert, thirst, motion, and stillness. A man wakes up in an island hospital after surviving a trans-Atlantic sailing accident and 18 days alone on a life raft. He tells the authorities that a whale bumped into his 36-foot sailboat and that his wife went down with the ship, hands gripping the wheel. A reporter who grew up in a family of modest means and immodest acts, his father a drunk who abused his mother, the protagonist is haunted by the ghost of his wife, who appears in flashbacks as a beautiful, monstrous, snobbish nag. The stress of everyday life seems like it would kill them both, since they were only happy together when they were on the boat. When the man is released from the hospital, he flees, possibly away from the truth, but mostly from himself. As much prose poem as novel, this is a melodious, eerie wisp of a book. Permalink here.
In this brilliant first novel, a literary triumph, the emptiness of sea and desert mirror the psychic emptiness of self and measure the outer limits of individualism. House's prose is elegant, spare and nuanced. Float is a riveting psychological thriller, a tour de force where murder lurks behind the everyday and people learn to forgive themselves. Bravo!
―Joan Mellen, author of A Farewell To Justice
Nate House has written a novel that makes guilt and innocence speak to one another with rare candor. Float, gives masterful scrutiny to the complex relation that plays between impulses of self-justification and self-perpetuation. Written in a meticulously nuanced prose, and fittingly in two parts, it gives us the portrait of a mind divided against itself, struggling to free itself from the grip of an antagonistic self-knowledge.
―Alan Singer, author of Dirtmouth and Memory Wax
Between the time of recollection and the time of action lies a stillness. In it Nate House's novel floats, a dreamlike vessel of salt, sun, air. It is as perfectly constructed as narrative itself, tantalizing us with an imaginary peace. How to keep life moving, as desire's object retreats, as everyday seems the same? In the doldrums, in the desert, Float returns to beginnings. We've never been anywhere like it before.
―R. M. Berry, author of Frank