Dianne Warren
Cool Water


Cool Water by Dianne WarrenContemporary Juliet, Saskatchewan is a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of town—the welcome sign promises a population of one thousand and eleven—so it’s easy to believe that nothing of consequence takes place there. But the heart of Juliet beats with rich stories of its inhabitants; the foundling, who now owns the farm his adoptive family left, still uncertain of the history that brought him to their back porch; the local bank manager, faltering under the responsibility he carries, respected but resented for the power he holds; the pregnant teenager and her mother, planning their fairy tale wedding; the desperate father who has watched his home and livelihood slip slowly away; a shy couple, well beyond middle-age, stumbling toward a recognition of their feelings for one-another; a camel named Antoinette; and the ubiquitous wind and sand that forever shift the landscape. They all bring the prairie desert and the town of Juliet to vivid life in this funny, tragic and touching novel.

Praise for Dianne Warren’s Cool Water:

National Bestseller
Winner of the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Winner of the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards, Regina Book Award
Finalist for the 35th annual Amazon.ca First Novel Award

Finalist for the High Plains Book Award, Best Woman Writer Category
Shortlisted for the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards, Book of the Year Award
Shortlisted for the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards, Fiction Award
A 2010 Globe 100 selection

“Warren makes every word she writes about the place believable. Which is good because a strange thing has happened; this oh so ordinary good-hearted little town has become the truly exotic destination.” —National Post

“A mixture of archetypes and surprises, the characters in Cool Water endure and prevail … Unforgettable” —The Globe and Mail

“Forget cowboy legends and sweeping western epics. Cool Water is a quiet, measured telling of one day in a dusty, hot prairie town and the dramas big and small that animate the lives of ordinary, but not uninteresting, folk. A skilled, subtle affirmation of the everyday.” —Telegraph-Journal

“Warren demonstrates a finely tuned understanding of the importance of everyday life that is reminiscent of Carol Shields’ abilities to transform the quotidian into something meaningful.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“The present-day storyline of Cool Water covers only a night and a day, but the characters are so diverse, their histories so rich, it reads like a saga.” —Prairie Books Now

“That two people can share a house and not know they love one another; that a note in a pocket with a woman’s name on it can crack decades of trust—this is a novel about the isolation that we hold secret within ourselves; that makes us envy the true hearts of horses and dogs. This novel shivers with nervous life. It tiptoes the fine edge between joy and weeping.” —Fred Stenson

Cool Water evokes a Canadian west that is, like the American southwest, timeless and powerful and hauntingly beautiful. Dianne Warren’s absolutely authentic characters, with all their loneliness and strength, will be new to you.” —Bonnie Burnard

"Reading Dianne Warren’s Cool Water is like drinking from a deep well after crossing the parched sand hills of the west. Leisurely and unpretentious, her prose lifts the hardscrabble town of Juliet and its people into the realm of myth.” —Joan Clark

"Reading Dianne Warren’s novel, I was reminded of Carol Shields and the creation of unassuming matter-of-fact characters who are, in truth, generously complicated. The writing is understated, wry, and laconic — as if the place itself could not produce any other kind of story.” —David Bergen

“Warm-hearted, witty, original, Cool Water pulls you into its world with its steady, low-key tone, and doesn’t let you go. It has been a long time since I loved a novel so much.” —Sharon Butala

Genre/Category: Literary Fiction
Setting: Canada
Period: contemporary

Australian and New Zealand rights, Allen & Unwin
Canadian rights, Phyllis Bruce Books/HarperCollins Canada
Czech rights, Geobypol
French rights, Presses de la Cité
US rights, Amy Einhorn Books/Penguin

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

Dianne Warren
Photo credit: Don Hall
  Dianne Warren is the author of three books of short fiction and three full-length plays.  She has won several awards for her short stories, including the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award for Bad Luck Dog in 1993.  She is the two-time winner of both the Western magazine Award for Fiction and the City of Regina Writing Award.  Her play Serpent of the Night Sky, which has been produced in Canada and the US, was short-listed for a Governor General’s Award for Drama in 1992.  Her short collection A Reckless Moon was listed in the Globe and Mail’s top 100 books for 2002.  In 2004 she won the Writer’s Trust Marian Engel Award, presented to a female Canadian writer, not for a single book, but for a body of work and in anticipation of her future contribution to Canadian literature.