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.
About the author:
Mark Barr has been awarded fellowships from Blue Mountain Center, I-Park Artists 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.