“A triumphant — and troubling — debut novel about Southern states in the near future punished by relentless rain and flooding. Michael Farris Smith’s powerful Rivers is the kind of book that lifts you up with its mesmerizing language then pulls you under like a riptide….A stunning work of speculative fiction.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution
“Smith’s prose is lush, descriptive and even beautiful…Tense, moving and expertly executed.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This book is raw and scary.” Esquire
“This promising Mississippi writer has come back to the source and paid homage, in his Southern Gothic way, to the region’s bull-headed will to keep going.” The Clarion-Ledger
“A story so powerful, I thought it was going to ignite every time I picked the damn thing up.” Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook
“A hurricane-force debut novel that will soak you with its beautiful sadness and blow you away with its prescience about the weather-wild world that awaits us.” Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, The Wilding, and Refresh, Refresh
“Smith resorts to no formula, and his ability to keep you guessing about what will happen next adds tension to long stretches of honed prose. He also manages to make 300 pages of relentless rain so real that you’re surprised your fingers aren’t pruney when you look up from this engrossing story.” The Washington Post
Available from Simon & Schuster, Rivers is set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after a climate shift in the years following Hurricane Katrina has ravaged the region. In response to the unrelenting storms and widespread devastation, the federal government instituted a boundary known as the Line, below which citizens can expect no aid. Those who stay behind do so at their own peril. Shattered by the loss of his wife and unborn child, Cohen has been unable to abandon their home, risking exposure to violent storms as well as roving mercenaries that prey upon survivors. Attacked and left for dead, his house ransacked and food and supplies diminished, he summons his last reserves of strength to forge a new life above the Line. And to avenge all that he has lost.