Author Page: Nate House

Float by Nate House

Released October 31, 2011.

Press kit available here. Order below or from the Publications & Store page.

Nate House’s short fiction has appeared in Sententia, Armchair Shotgun, The Pebble Lake Review, Carve, Methree, Philadelphia Stories, and Troika. His non-fiction has appeared in The Rambler, Roadbike Magazine and Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Columns and features have been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Weekly and The Philadelphia Metro. After graduating from Temple University’s School of Communication and Theater Mr. House worked as a crime and courts reporter for The Philadelphia Tribune. He then attended Temple University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, where his novel Float won the Frances Israel award for fiction. He has taught Creative Writing, Literature, Composition and Journalism classes at Temple University and Cumberland County College. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Community College of Philadelphia.

About the Novel:
Float details the horrific adventures of a man and woman who leave the coast on a thirty-five foot sailboat in order to save their decaying marriage. The man arrives one month later, alone, on the shore of an equatorial country in a life raft. Island officials and an incompetent American Consulate question the man as to what happened to his wife at sea. The man attempts to convince them, and himself, that what happened in the very heart of the doldrums was an accident. In the process he explores the torment of stillness, both at sea and on land. Later, even in a desolate setting, he cannot escape the ghost of his wife, who continues to haunt him.

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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.
Publishers Weekly

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

 

 

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