TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER

Tom McNeal

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that “picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio.” Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn’t look back.

Twenty years later, Judith’s marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him.

more …

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that “picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio.” Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn’t look back.

Twenty years later, Judith’s marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?

To Be Sung Underwater is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget.

less …
  • Little, Brown & Co.
  • Hardcover
  • June 2011
  • 448 Pages
  • 9780316127394

Buy the Book

$24.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Tom McNeal

Tom McNeal was born in Santa Ana, California, where his father and grandfather raised oranges. He spent part of every summer at the Nebraska farm where his mother was born and raised, and after earning a BA in English at UC Berkeley and an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine, he taught school in the town that was the inspiration for his first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska. Tom has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and his short stories have been widely anthologized.

Praise

“You don’t so much read To Be Sung Underwater as you’re consumed by it. The characters are unforgettable. The writing is staggering. More importantly, though, it’s the courage of this book that sets it apart. It’s the bravest, most beautiful book I’ve read in a long time.”Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief

“What a pleasure to hear Tom McNeal’s voice again, its humor and intelligence and muscle. By turns gentle and grim, lyric and comic, To Be Sung Underwater is a lovely book about what remains after so much is lost. What sweeps you along is not just the power of its writing but what distinguishes McNeal from nearly every other writer working in America these days–his unironic affection for the characters he brings so richly to life.”Ehud Havazelet, author of Bearing the Body

“Smart, sexy, gorgeous, and at times devastatingly sad–these words describe the woman at the heart of this wonderful novel almost as well as they do the book itself. This ravishing love story will envelop you for a few days and then linger for a long time thereafter.”Ann Packer, author of Swim Back to Me and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier

“In this thoughtful and compelling look at the road not taken, McNeal calls up the landscape of the Great Plains as a place where it’s possible to see that it’s the simple things–a secluded swimming hole, a cold beer, the laughter of the person you love–that are the most valuable.”—Booklist