The Great Offshore Grounds

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What to expect

‘A magnificent beast of a book: epic’ Roxane Gay
‘Large in scope and heart’ Patrick deWitt
‘It blew me away’ Emma Donoghue
‘Unforgettable’ Nathan Hill
‘A blast’ Karen Russell

On the day of their estranged father’s wedding, half-sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It’s been years since the two have seen each other but the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what’s theirs.

Except: instead of money, their father gives them information – a name – that reveals a stunning family secret. And in the face of their new reality, the sisters each set out on journeys that will test their faith in each other, as well as their definitions of freedom.

Critics Review

  • A magnificent beast of a novel. Utterly engrossing. Original. One of the rare novels that understands the realities of American poverty. Epic.

    Roxane Gay
  • The Great Offshore Grounds delivers on the promise Vanessa Veselka made with her excellent debut, Zazen. Large in scope and heart, Veselka skillfully illustrates human behaviors of every shade and iteration. She’s a specialist, a keen interpreter of our demented society, and an enviable storyteller. I’ve been waiting long years for this novel. It was worth the wait.

    Patrick deWitt, author of THE SISTERS BROTHERS
  • The Great Offshore Grounds blew me away. The tangled journeys of three siblings in the hardest of times pursuing freedom and love through a broken world will both move and dazzle readers. Wry, epic, glorious.

    Emma Donoghue, author of ROOM
  • Vanessa Veselka is an expert portraitist of the forgotten and left behind, people struggling to make ends meet, broke and underemployed, people of deep humanity and shallow finances trying to find their place in dysfunctional America. The Great Offshore Grounds is an unforgettable journey through a country full of malice and greed and beauty and grace. A brilliant and fearless book.

    Nathan Hill, author of THE NIX
  • The Great Offshore Grounds reminded me of what a great novel can do – Veselka’s seafaring epic has the forward momentum of a grand adventure and the spiraling depth of a new myth. All the pleasure of eighteenth century storytelling renewed for our newborn millennium. I love this textured, tonally complex wonder of a book, a quest for Melville’s ‘unimaginable sublimity’ that never shies away from the messy flux of the body, or the oceanic scope of our shared global history. It’s also a blast to read – darkly hilarious, astral, cerebral, suspenseful, warm-blooded, divine.

    Karen Russell, author of SWAMPLANDIA!
  • A deeply moving picaresque… Veselka traces these arcs with empathy and an earthy sense of humor but also with a ruthless eye. She is a remarkable writer, able to break through the surfaces of her narrative to reveal the animal chaos underneath.

    Los Angeles Times

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