- Browse Books / eBooks / Audiobooks
- Events / Book Groups
- January Events
- February Events
- Special Events
- Book Groups
- Staff Corner
- Contact Us
You are hereBack to top
10/14 - "Watershed" by Mark Barr
About the Book
Set in 1937 in rural Tennessee, with the construction of a monumental dam serving as background—a cinematically biblical effort to harness elemental forces and bring power to the people—Watershed delivers a gripping story of characters whose ambitions and yearnings threaten to overflow the banks of their time and place.
Nathan, an engineer hiding from his past, and Claire, a small-town housewife, struggle to find their footing in the newly-electrified, job-hungry, post-Depression South. As Nathan wrestles with the burdens of a secret guilt and tangled love, Claire struggles to balance motherhood and a newfound freedom that awakens ambitions and a sexuality she hadn’t known she possessed.
The arrival of electricity in the rural community—where violence, prostitution, and dog-fighting are commonplace—thrusts together the federal and local worlds, in an evocative feat of storytelling in the vein of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, and Ron Rash’s Serena.
"Mark Barr’s vivid and heartfelt Watershed is the most engrossing and assured debut I’ve read in a long, long time. It will leave you charged and enlightened. Mark Barr is a powerhouse." - Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek
"Mark Barr has an almost supernatural ability to make the past--both the physical and emotional realities of daily life--intimate and real. Written with uncommon humanity and grace, Watershed is a powerful reminder of how necessary those qualities are in our own time." - Kent Wascom, author of The New Inheritors
"Fluidly paced, unsettling yet graceful, Watershed is a riveting debut that never lets up. Barr packs these pages with incident and character and a deep emotional intelligence; this is one of those rare novels that hit you with such startling clarity that the events of the story feel like your own memories." - Kelly Luce, author of Pull Me Under
About the Author
Mark Barr has been awarded fellowships from Blue Mountain Center, I-Park Artists¹ Enclave, Jentel Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Millay Colony, and Yaddo, and holds an M.F.A from Texas State University. He lives with his wife and sons in Arkansas, where he develops software and bakes bread.
Kelly Luce is the author of Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail (A Strange Object), winner of Foreword Review’s Editor’s Choice Prize for Fiction, and the novel Pull Me Under (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a Book of the Month Club selection and one of Elle’s Best Books of 2016. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Salon, O, the Oprah Magazine, The Southern Review, and other publications. She received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin in 2015. She is the editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading Commuter and was a 2016-17 fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She lives in an old grist mill in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 6:00pm
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902