Joseph Howse writes fiction, as well as technical books on computer programming and image analysis. He lives in a Nova Scotian fishing village, where he chats with his cats and nurtures an orchard of hardy fruit trees. His debut novel, The Girl in the Water, has won the 2023 Independent Press Award for Literary Fiction and the 2023 IPPY Awards Bronze Medal for Best Regional Ebook (Fiction). Also, it is a finalist in the 2022 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards for Multicultural Fiction and the 17th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards for New Fiction.
The Girl in the Water
Literary Fiction, Coming of Age
Winner of the 2023 Independent Press Award for Literary Fiction
Winner of the 2023 IPPY Awards Bronze Medal for Best Regional eBook (Fiction)
The Girl in the Water is the story of a multi-ethnic group of young friends, coming of age in Estonia and Ukraine in the last days of the Soviet Union. Their lives are shaped by an Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the collapse and legacy of a suffocating society.
The novel examines life and choice in the aftermath of trauma and has garnered praise as both a lifelike family drama and a literary statement in the tradition of the Russian classics.
“Joseph Howse evokes the literary styles of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky … The author has composed a book like Tchaikovsky would a symphony; tight, disciplined, yet bubbling with unspoken passion and near-magical allegory.” —Rob Errera, IndieReader
At the centre of this multi-layered story of family, society, and nature is a Soviet girl, Nadia. Nadia is an abstract thinker growing up in an era of endgames. She is a bookworm, an architect of reckless pranks, a day-and-night wanderer, a compulsive witness, and a note-taker. All around her she sees people quietly gambling with life and soul for little apparent gain. As her illusions unravel, she asks herself, what is to be done?