A critically acclaimed debut novel first published in 1980, Aransas recounts a young man’s attempt to find his place in the world as he navigates the moral dilemma of training an “exquisitely conscious being” to perform in a seaside dolphin circus.
Stephen Harrigan is the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction, including the award-winning novels The Gates of the Alamo and Remember Ben Clayton, the critically acclaimed essay collection The Eye of the Mammoth, and Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and a faculty fellow at the University of Texas’s Michener Center for Writers.
A resonant first novel. Beneath its genial surface, allusive undercurrents tug.
~New York Times Book Review
The sureness and poise of this first novel are as remarkable as the sharpness, oddity, and clarity of its feelings . . . Aransas is an elegant debut.
Harrigan’s eye for locale and its effect is superb.
~Washington Post Book World
Harrigan . . . has a sharp eye for observing man, beast, seashore, and town in a vividly drawn setting.
An ardent and elegant book, beautiful in its language, mature in its perceptions, noble in its sentiments.
~San Francisco Chronicle
A sensitive, enormously evocative first novel in a spare but warm prose style that immerses us in atmosphere as insistently as it does the plot . . . Harrigan is a splendid novelist.
Aransas has several surprises, including dramatic suspense, counterculture revisionism, and what must be considered dolphin revisionism. More, Harrigan has written an acute American regional novel.
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