Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series and GrubStreet welcome award-winning writer SARA FREEMAN for a discussion of her debut novel, Tides. She will be joined in conversation by EMMA CLINE, the acclaimed, bestselling author The Girls.
After a sudden, devastating loss, Mara flees her family and ends up adrift in a wealthy seaside town with a dead cellphone and barely any money. Mired in her grief, Mara detaches from the outside world and spends her days of self-imposed exile scrounging for food and swimming in the night ocean. In her state of emotional extremis, the sea at the town’s edge is rendered bleak, luminous, implacable.
As her money runs out and tourist season comes to a close, Mara finds a job at the local wine store. There, she meets Simon, the shop’s soft-spoken, lonely owner. Confronted with the possibility of connection with Simon and the slow return of her desires and appetites, the reasons for her flight begin to emerge.
Reminiscent of works by Rachel Cusk, Jenny Offill, and Marguerite Duras, Tides is a spare, visceral debut novel about the nature of selfhood, intimacy, and the private narratives that shape our lives. A shattering and unforgettable debut.
Praise for Tides
“Sara Freeman is such a gifted writer, and she maps with great beauty and precision the territory of loss. This novel is lovely, dark, troubling, and deep.” —Alix Ohlin
“Sara Freeman goes about her business in Tides with such cool composure that I didn’t fully register the serious heat of the thing until my eyebrows had started to sizzle. I’m amazed that this is a first novel. There is something very large to be found in this wonderfully compressed work.” —Laird Hunt
“I read Tides in two voracious sittings, thrilled by the push-pull of Sara Freeman’s prose: the tightly-controlled surface lyricism barely containing the violent upheaval beneath. Freeman inhabits the mind of her nearly-unhinged narrator so fully that the reader comes to understand—and even identify with—the sometimes twisted logic of grief and unmet longing. Who are we, as women, apart from the ones we love, or try to love? A beautiful, painfully prescient debut from a wildly talented new writer.” —Jamie Quatro