Parnassus Books is excited to welcome Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing.
New York Times-bestselling nature writer Delia Owens’ lyrical and gripping debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising account of a murder investigation. Fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell will admire this stunning novel as Owens masterfully reveals the intricate beauties of nature through the eyes of a young girl abandoned by her family in the North Carolina marshland. Where The Crawdads Sing explores the stubborn wildness that resides in all of us and also examines the deeply human instincts that bind us to other people.
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But she is not what they say. Years earlier, when six-year-old Kya watched her Ma walk down the dirt footpath, away from the family’s rough-hewn wooden shack tucked back in the marsh, she didn’t know it would be for the last time. And, then one by one, her siblings and Pa walked away, too, leaving her alone with the marsh as her only provider and companion.
Relying on her sharp instincts and lessons from the natural world, Kya builds a life of solitude away from the scornful, prying eyes of the townspeople. A born naturalist, she becomes an expert in the ways of the marsh that teems with life and reveals its secrets to the careful, watchful girl. Lessons and secrets that she will need for her very survival.
Solitude is not easy. Yearning to be touched and loved, Kya is drawn to two young men from town, both intrigued by her wild beauty. Each man offers different paths and promises of worlds beyond the marsh—but lies can be told, promises broken, and a tumble from an old fire tower can look a lot like murder.
Thought-provoking and deeply moving, Where the Crawdads Sing reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
Delia Owens is the coauthor of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa, including Cry of the Kalahari and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, the African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho and Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.