Underwater was a novel born
of our collective hunger for God. It grew up
underground, mostly, nurtured within the 18 libraries
scattered around the University of Berkeley.
The book isn't at all the one I thought I would
write when I started researching. The answers
I anticipated weren't the ones I found. The
story is as much a surprise to me as to anyone else. Its
threads emerged like findings of an archeological dig, one
by one, each a window to another place, delicate long hours to unearth
them. Only much later could you piece together their
connections, at the cost of all expectations.
the things we canít remember that
haunt us,Ē the Bishop tells Theresa McCabe, a middle
aged nun who's
forgotten a lot. Her faith, for one, left behind in her
African youth. But other things too. When her uncle, the town priest, brings Nigerians to St.
in a bold plan to salvage his
Collegeís missionary beginnings, their arrival sparks a
her simple brother's childhood seizures. The arrival
marks a turning point for the town as well, for the Africans have
intricate plans of their
own. As her brother's psychosis deepens Theresa is swept
along, and the only thin road to redemption lies in
navigating forgotten threads of a painful past.