• By: Michael Spurgeon
  • Fiction, Latino/Latina Studies
  • Buy Now

Still reeling from the loss of his family in an accident that he feels responsible for causing, Hank Singer accepts an invitation to move to the isolated and beautiful state of Chiapas. There, in the streets and cafes of a colonial city nestled in the mountain forests, he settles into the semblance of a new life under the watchful eye of his best friend and former college roommate, César, the charismatic heir to one of Mexico's most powerful families.

But when an army of impoverished Indians calling themselves Zapatistas emerges from the jungle to seize half the state, Hank finds himself a foreigner trapped in someone else's war. The repercussions of the decisions he makes—and does not make—threaten to shatter both his friendship and the renewed life he has found in the Mexican highlands.

In the tradition of Graham Greene's The Quiet American and Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, LET THE WATER HOLD ME DOWN weaves real historical events into a riveting personal narrative about a man who finds himself caught up in a political landscape beyond his control.

  • Michael Spurgeon leaning against graffitied wall, smiling.
    Catherine Spurgeon
  • Having earned an MFA in poetry and screenwriting from the University of Arizona, Michael Spurgeon has published in a wide range of journals like Zyzzyva, Sonora Review, and North American Review. He has published two collections of poems and had four short stage plays produced. A is tenured professor of literature, composition, and creative writing at American River College, Spurgeon was residing in Chiapas at the time of the Zapatista uprising, an event that serves as the backdrop for LET THE WATER HOLD ME DOWN, his first novel. He is a co-founder and former board president of 916 Ink, a Sacramento nonprofit that empowers youth through creative writing. He also is the founder and director of the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts, the mission of which is “to create a community of literary artists from across the Americas to foster meaningful connections between people, culture, and the natural world.” He joined the Ad Lumen Press editorial board a few years after the publication of LET THE WATER HOLD ME DOWN.