This irreverent debut delivers a headlong human comedy of trauma and triumph, narrated by the concealed inner selves of a woman on the brink: Katherine, a lost creative soul and suburban mother of two, who has struggled into her forties with the urge to self-harm.
"Tracks the scattered parts of one woman as she fractures and finds herself over the course of her lifetime. A wholly original and unforgettable debut." —Julia Phillips, best-selling author of Disappearing Earth
Katherine, an attentive mother to her teenagers, comfortably married to her strapping provider of a husband, longs to overcome her dark thoughts and intermittent fears of sexual intimacy.
This brisk, mesmerizing version of her life is told in alternating short chapters by Truitt, Star, and Smooshed Bug—her inner children, each with their particular strategy for coping with Katherine’s past at the hands of a hopeless mother and a terrifying, seductive father. Several of her female ancestors, Confederate widows and their daughters, who’ve imposed a legacy of racism and damage on her bloodline, also join the telling.
The assembled ghosts and contenders for Katherine’s ear are gathered in a rusting WWII submarine off the coast of Virginia Beach where the truth of her life is, quite literally, submerged. Will they surface with it? Will they protect her from it, or deliver it to her?
This unforgettable chorus of charming selves, battling over Katherine’s wellbeing, is unified by their hope for her future, as they collaborate to shape a personal narrative like no other we’ve experienced in fiction.
About the Author
BOO TRUNDLE is a writer, artist, and performer whose work has appeared across various platforms and publications, including The Brooklyn Rail, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and NPR’s The Moth. She has released three albums of original music with Big Deal Records. She lives in New Jersey. The Daughter Ship is her first novel.
“Boo Trundle’s novel The Daughter Ship startles in the best of ways, in its inventiveness, in its humor, and in its truths. This powerful debut is one of the year’s best books.” —David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy
“Wild as stormy water, turbulent as a human heart, The Daughter Ship is a novel like none you've ever read before. It tracks the scattered parts of one woman as she fractures and finds herself over her lifetime. Boo Trundle is a deep, dark, far-seeing storyteller, who has written a wholly original and unforgettable debut.” —Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth (National Book Award Finalist)
“This brilliant first novel is about liberation from the past and from whatever keeps us in the past. We circle around it until we glimpse, along with the narrators, the source of this jangly unease—stars, memories, clouds? Marriage, pills, sex? In the end it’s about one moment when we get to say who we are and where we come from and to see it all as golden. Prepare to devour this book.” —Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
“I loved The Daughter Ship, a novel about sexual trauma in which a multiplicity of people are contained within each person, and trace elements of history migrate across generations. This is a witty, clear-eyed, and devastating debut.” —Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick
“This is a stunningly original, compulsively readable, darkly funny, and profoundly moving novel about the emotional cargo women carry in our minds and bodies, and how healing is possible—even from our deepest, darkest secrets.” —Leigh Stein, author of Self Care
“Trundle’s book is as cheekily humorous as it is deadly serious, a chaotic performance art piece wearing a novel as a disguise . . . A wildly strange reading experience that disorients and exhilarates in equal measure.” —Kirkus Reviews