Water & Glass

Abi Curtis

A wonderful literary debut that mixes nature writing and Victorian adventure within the frame of a modern Noah’s Ark story.

In the lower depths of a large ship, zoologist Nerissa Crane takes an ultrasound of a heavily pregnant Asian elephant. The elephant conceived off the ship but, it transpires, was forced on board – along with Nerissa and a haphazard collection of humans and animals – by a form of flooding-related environmental disaster. Nerissa is calm and solitary both in her work and in navigating the trauma of her husband’s presumed death; but when messages from the ship’s command inexplicably dissipate and one of her animals escapes, she is forced to enter the ship’s thrown-together communal world where she uncovers more than she ever expected.

This is a story about human nature – and the animal world – under great pressure and in enclosed spaces. Mixing elements of nature writing, Victorian adventure, and post-apocalyptic fiction in the framework of a modern Noah’s Ark story, WATER & GLASS is a wonderful literary novel that mixes and plays with genre whilst being a superbly immersive reading experience.

“On every page Curtis combines a poet's eye for the perfect, resonant detail with a blockbuster's suspense and delivery on story. An urgent, gorgeously written debut.”
Luke Kennard, author of THE TRANSITION (Desmond Elliott Prize longlisted)

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