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We Live in Water, the first collection of short-story fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter, is a suite of diverse, often comic stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit and generosity of spirit that has made him one of EWU’s most talked-about writers.
In “Thief,” a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family vacation fund. In “We Live in Water,” a lawyer returns to a corrupt North Idaho town to find the father who disappeared 30 years earlier. In “Anything Helps,” a homeless man has to “go to cardboard” to raise enough money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book. In “Virgo,” a local newspaper editor tries to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by messing with her horoscope.
“Statistical Abstract for My Home of Spokane, Washington,” which made the rounds on Facebook last year, is the books final story. It’s a list of 50 facts and anecdotes about Walter’s hometown and his life in Spokane.
Walter is the author of six novels, including the national bestsellers, Beautiful Ruins, The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, and Citizen Vince, winner of the Edgar Award for best novel.
This book is a call to action – to fall in love with yourself. As you build on this relationship and fill yourself with love, it spills over to the rest of us, making the world a better place.
Within its pages you will find an unusual combination of power and innocence, lightness and depth. Spontaneous sketches and poetry, which occurred in the writing process, are sprinkled through the text. You are offered non-physical fitness exercises and ways to open new doors to your capacity for how you want to live. It tempts you with provocative ideas to coax you outside the box of your own limitations, moving you closer to who you really are.
For those of you who loved The Secret but have trouble living it, Doing the Thing takes you further to help understand what is in your way and gives potential in dissolving those barriers. In learning to embrace, celebrate and express the true you in your own way at your own pace, you are “Doing the Thing.”
Quade is a wife, mother and health-care professional. She has spent more than 30 years studying and experiencing self-actualization and human potential. She lives with her husband and sons near Seattle, Wash.
Three Years in the Alaskan Bush chronicles the three years Weber spent teaching the Yupik Eskimo children in the villages of Tuntutuliak and Napakiak. The book explains why a single mother with two children would travel to these distant villages and what daily life was like there.
One of the things Weber observed during those three years is that “we who don’t live there and haven’t experienced the vagaries in the elements become somewhat cocky.”
Looking back at a trip to Bethel, Alaska, which turned into a traumatic experience, she saw there was no excuse for her risking the lives of her children and herself because of an impatience to do what she wanted to do. The natives run on their own time and it is closely related to “ifs” and “maybes”. They don’t plan and execute. They say “if” the tide comes in or “if” the planes fly. Then “maybe” they would go to Bethel. Weber says that their patience and slower lifestyle must be what allows them to continue to exist in the harsh environment of the Arctic tundra.
Weber is now retired and lives in Nevada. The Kindle Edition of Three Years is also available.