Lost Lake by Mark Slouka

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In twelve beautifully imagined stories linked by character and setting, Mark Slouka paints an unforgettable portrait of three generations of men and women under the spell of a landscape with a powerful history, and of a body of water that has a grip on their souls and destinies, defying their understanding even as it elevates and transforms their lives.

Set in a tiny Czech community on the shores of New York's Lost Lake, the stories in Mark Slouka's first collection are elegiac and expansive, illuminated by a quiet, complicated glory in the natural world and by the mysterious motions of the human spirit within it. In "Genesis," the collection's creation myth, an inspired young war veteran gazes into a cow pasture and sees the lake for the first time, and in it the chance it holds for a better life; in the exquisitely written fishing story "The Shape of Water," a young boy's recollection of a momentous catch occasions a later reflection on the elusiveness of memory and the power of invented truths; in "The Exile," a young woman struggles unsuccessfully against an adulterous passion and in the dead of night rows out across the lake to meet her lover on the opposite shore. In all, Lost Lake emerges as a place of epic significance and enduring simplicity, the source and the settling point of all stories--less a body of water than a notion, a dwelling place, a spiritual home.

About Mark Slouka

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Mark Slouka is a graduate of Columbia University and he has taught at Harvard and the University of California at San Diego. He currently teaches at Columbia and lives in New York City with his wife and children.
Published May 5, 1998 by Knopf. 177 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lost Lake

Kirkus Reviews

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Finally, the narrator of —The Shape of Water— returns to the lake after an absence of many years and catches a great fish.

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Publishers Weekly

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""A particular forty acres of water,"" a peaceful, manmade lake not far outside New York City, connects these 12 poignant short stories and the vital, multigenerational cast of characters inhabiting them.

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