WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION
A wildly imaginative novel of the reluctant heroine who rescued life on earth
With the coming of the Great Flood–the mother of all disasters–only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the matriarch who kept them alive. Here is the woman torn between faith and fury, lending her strength to her sons and their wives, caring for an unruly menagerie of restless creatures, silently mourning the lover she left behind. Here is the woman escaping into the unreceded waters, where a seductive angel tempts her to join a strange and haunted world. Here is the woman tormented by dreams and questions of her own–questions of service and self-determination, of history and memory, of the kindness or cruelty of fate.
In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth, and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.
Sarah Blake’s dazzling Naamah offers a new vision of storytelling and belief, rendered through the body of a woman. In between hope and hell, and up against the divine, Naamah reminds us that the bodies and voices of women were always the heart of the story. Naamah is a new myth-making triumph.
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children
No longer a forgotten name, Naamah is achingly alive here, pulsing with questions and desires. Sarah Blake’s prose is sensual, hallucinatory, dream-sharp—a beguiling debut from an immensely talented writer.
—Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks
Sarah Blake has crafted a haunting, mesmerizing fever dream with Naamah. Every sentence thrums with life and beauty, even as her characters struggle against the prospect of the never-ending flood.
—Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M
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Frances Collin Literary Agency