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Elias Rodriques

Elias Rodriques’s work has been published in the Nation, Bookforum, n+1, and elsewhere. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is an assistant professor of African American literature at Sarah Lawrence College.

from All the Water I’ve Seen Is Running

In Elias Rodriques’ forthcoming novel, All the Water I’ve Seen Is Running, Daniel, a queer mixed-race Jamaican-American man living in New York City is drawn back to the conservative North Florida town he once dreamed of escaping, after learning of the sudden death of a close friend. What follows is unlike any coming of age story I’ve ever read. Returning to his former home stirs up memories long suppressed, but Rodriques’ lyrical excavation of Daniel digs into not only his childhood but also the experiences of his family in Jamaica. Though alienated from most of his peers as a teen because of his race, class, sexuality, and nationality, Rodriques sets Daniel in vivid nature scenes—such as the one that begins this excerpt—to show how he made his own home on the water. The dialogue throughout the novel is also a highlight, as we see how fluidly Daniel is able to code-switch to navigate between his multiple identities.

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The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2021

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