In the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia's imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblings — Ilmari, Matti, and the politicized young Aino — are forced to flee to the United States.
Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington, where the first harvesting of the colossal old-growth forests begets rapid development, and radical labor movements begin to catch fire. The brothers face the excitement and danger of pioneering this frontier wilderness— climbing and felling trees one-hundred meters high — while Aino, foremost of the books many strong, independent women, devotes herself to organizing the industry's first unions. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind.
Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.
Sophie Baker manages the translation rights for Deep River
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Translation Rights Sold
Deep River is a big American novel, akin to Annie Proulx’s Barkskins and, to an extent, Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion. The characters in Deep River are grounded in work, and Mr. Marlantes conveys the elements, arcana and dangerous romance of logging superbly. His descriptions of logging itself — the ingenious mechanics of taking down trees and the skill of experienced loggers — are wonderfully detailed, dramatic and exhilarating.
Wall Street Journal
Deep River is an engrossing and commanding historical epic about one immigrant family’s shifting fortunes… a feat of lavish storytelling.
Marlantes poignantly depicts the intimacies of personal dramas that echo the twentieth century’s unprecedented political storms and yet in surprising ways reprise Finland’s oldest mythologies… An unforgettable novel.
Marlantes conveys the elements, arcana and dangerous romance of logging superbly. His descriptions of logging itself―the ingenious mechanics of taking down trees and the skill of experienced loggers―are wonderfully detailed, dramatic and exhilarating…Mighty physical, social and economic forces operate the plot of this novel, buffeting its characters, raising them up, flinging them down, twisting their fates together. Deep River is a big American novel.