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Mark Barr

January 15, 2020

It’s 1937 and rural Tennessee is still recovering from the Great Depression. The construction of a huge dam brings job seekers, fortune hunters, and the promise of electricity to the area. Claire, a young mother of two, realizes her marriage is over when she wakes up with a sexually transmitted disease brought home by her husband. Nathan is an engineer with a shameful secret who changes his name to get work at the dam. Everyone in this colorful cast of dog-fighting neighbors, beer-guzzling ex-husbands, and power-hungry employers is trying to survive in the mosquito-infested heat of a southern summer. 

Mark Barr has been awarded fellowships from Blue Mountain Center, I-Park Artists Enclave, Jentel Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Millay Colony, and Yaddo. Favorably reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist, his debut novel, Watershed (Hub City, 2019), was featured in the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance’s fall Okra list and Deep South Magazine's Fall/Winter Reading List, and named as one of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's "12 Southern Books You'll Want to Read This Fall" and one of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine’s "Four Fall Reads." Mark holds undergraduate degrees from Hendrix College and University of Iowa, and an M.F.A. from Texas State University. He lives with his wife and sons in Arkansas, where he develops software and bakes bread. If you enjoyed today’s podcast and would like to discuss it further with me and other New Books Network listeners, please join us on Shuffle. Shuffle is an ad-free, invite-only network focused on the creativity community. As NBN listeners, you can get special access to conversations with a dynamic community of writers and literary enthusiasts. Sign up by going to

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