The Tidewater Tales

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First edition (publ. Putnam)

The Tidewater Tales is a 1987 novel by the American writer John Barth. Its narrative is told from the shared perspectives of Peter Sagamore and Katherine Sherritt Sagamore, a well-coupled couple in their 8 and a half month of pregnancy in the summer of 1980. Peter Sagamore is a gifted author, whose gifts, we learn early on, have been dwindling in recent years due to a malignant relationship with "the demon Less is More". His fiction has fizzled from sprawling works to solitary words on a page, and his career has followed suit. His wife, Katherine, herself a storyteller by trade, sets him a task at his beckon: She asks him to take them sailing, and to tell her the tale of a couple much like them in manner and make and in their reckless decision to go sailing at such a delicate time in her pregnancy. The result is "The Tidewater Tales: a novel", or, the story of the stories these two storytellers swap whilst sailing in their ship, Story, atop the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.[1]


  1. ^ Pritchard, William; Writing, Is (1987-06-28). "BETWEEN BLAM AND BLOOEY". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-22.