The Hundred-Year Flood: A Novel

goodreads amazon

In the tradition of Native Speaker and The Family Fang, Matthew Salesses weaves together the tangled threads of identity, love, growing up, and relationships in his stunning first novel, The Hundred-Year Flood. This beautiful and dreamlike debut follows twenty-two-year-old Tee as he escapes to Prague in the wake of his uncle’s suicide and the aftermath of 9/11. Tee tries to convince himself that living in a new place will mean a new identity and a chance to shed the parallels between him and his adopted father. His life intertwines with Pavel Picasso, a painter famous for revolution; Katka, his equally alluring wife; and Picasso’s partner—a giant of a man with an American name. In the shadow of a looming flood that comes every one hundred years, Tee contemplates his own place in life as both mixed and adopted and as an American in a strange land full of heroes, myths, and ghosts. (Little A/Amazon, 2015)

Advance Praise:

Best of September
Amazon

Best of 2015
Adoptive Families

17 Awesome New Books You Need to Read This Summer
—Buzzfeed

19 Awesome New Books You Need to Read This Fall
—Buzzfeed

Most Anticipated, 2015
—The Millions

9 Must-Reads (Fall)
—Gawker Review of Books

Buzzy Fall Books
—Chatelaine

Best of August
AskMen

Summer Book Guide
—Hopes and Fears

Summer Reads
—Local Houston

“Poetic and moving.”
NPR Books

“An escape or an adventure.”
—The New Yorker

“Tee is in Prague. He is running away from memory. He is running toward myth. He is searching. In Prague, Tee meets an artist and the artist’s wife. Before long, the three are drawn into a fateful series of events as Prague is laid bare by a flood that only comes every hundred years. This beautiful debut novel by Matthew Salesses is much like that flood—epic and devastating and full of natural majesty.”
—Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist

The Hundred-Year Flood yanks you off your feet, whipping you along on a brilliantly crafted adventure. You can’t fight the current and you don’t want to, either. Matthew Salesses is a new force of nature.”
—Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day

“A filmic, fast-moving, disjunctive ride, The Hundred-Year Flood rollicks through an exquisitely constructed plot to arrive at a surprising destination. Matthew Salesses writes taut, intelligent, lyrical sentences. He is definitely a writer to watch, and The Hundred-Year Flood is the novel to read right this moment.”
—Robert Boswell, author of Tumbledown and The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards

“Matthew Salesses’s elegant debut is at once both minimalist and expansive, atmospheric yet grounded in vivid, astonishing details. The Hundred-Year Flood captures life distilled to its purest, most potent form. I’ll be thinking about this story for many years to come.”
—Kirstin Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners

The Hundred-Year Flood spins the gorgeous and devastating tale of Tee’s quest to find his place in the world amidst the richly haunted landscape of Prague. This is a phenomenally engrossing novel, cast in prose that is at once searing and poetic, and Matthew Salesses is a once in a lifetime talent.”
—Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth and Find Me

“How artfully Matthew Salesses transports his reader between Prague and the States, past and present. I fell under the spell of his lovely novel as thoroughly as his protagonist, Tee, falls under the spell of Prague and, in particular, of one of its inhabitants. The Hundred-Year Flood is a vivid, cunning, compelling narrative about inheritance and forgiveness. A wonderful debut.”
—Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Hundred-Year Flood is a beautifully wrought novel about a young man who goes on a quest for self-discovery and finds himself in a city of legends, demons, and saints. Here, Tee struggles to reconcile his desire to belong with his desire to be free—his desire to be someone with his desire to be no one at all. This book is a deep, wonderful, and incredibly complex investigation into the necessary and fertile tension between resistance and submission, attraction and repulsion, and the need to create versus the need to annihilate. Poetic and dreamlike, aching with loss, and filled with the strange and enduring power of myth, The Hundred-Year Flood builds and builds until everything—the characters, their histories, their relationships and animosities, and even the city in which they live, are borne up, taken over, and forever changed by the inevitable and unpredictable tide of fate. This is an exquisite, unforgettable book about the extraordinary demands of identity and the transformative power of art and love.”
—Catherine Chung, author of Forgotten Country

The Hundred-Year Flood is a beautiful, transporting novel that lays bare the heartbreak and loss of the world while never forgetting its magic. A dreamlike exploration of how the myths and stories we tell—and those that we choose to keep to ourselves—forge our identities, this book will swallow you whole.”
—James Scott, author of The Kept

The Hundred-Year Flood is an incredible literary achievement. It’s not often you find a novel that is capable of accomplishing such conceptual sophistication while maintaining the narrative force of compelling fiction. At times poetic and emotional, at times brutal and devastating, this intricate tale about identity, loss, love, and purpose is a force to be reckoned with and an absolute pleasure to read.”
—Mario Alberto Zambrano, author of Loteria

“In this spellbinding novel, Matthew Salesses artfully weaves an intricate tapestry, shifting effortlessly between time, place and identity while exploring all three subjects in the process. He succeeds in transporting the reader to a ghost Prague—a timeless, kaleidoscopic city layered with wonder and devastating sorrow.”
—Kenneth Calhoun, author of Black Moon

“What carries us through the novel is Salesses’ gift for language: here is a meditative, poetic, modern fable crafted in haunting bursts of impressionistic prose.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Salesses delivers an immersive novel about identity, myths, and ghosts. . . This is an engulfing read.”
Publisher’s Weekly