Claude Walker | Bicentennial-By-Buttons

July 24, 1915, Chicago's deadliest day. The SS Eastland - a poorly-designed, overcrowded lake steamer - capsized without warning at a downtown dock, killing 844 in a blink.

No one was brought to justice. A century later, the victims - mostly immigrants off to a company picnic - demand to be heard in a new novel, The Eastland Water Spirits (2015).

For 844 days, Chicago is rocked by daily earthquakes, hazmat events and mass hallucinations. The Eastland Water Spirits is a parable about memories, ancestors and stories which refuse to disappear. It celebrates our interconnectedness over time and space, using water and spirits to tell the tale.

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