Published: October 20th, 2015
trade paperback -
ISBN 978-1-63023-020-3
ebook -
ISBN 978-1-63023-039-5
232 pages

[includes free download of ebook version]

In the years following Hurricane Katrina, far from the manicured architecture and walking tours of touristed New Orleans, Jimmy Petrovich lingers, trapped by dead-end jobs, addiction, and self-abuse. The city is rebuilding, but its identity, like its people, has collapsed.

Jimmy finds hope in Ron Dan—journalist, playboy, entrepreneur. Dan offers Jimmy work as a private investigator—his latest project is a biography of Walter "Mongoose" Johns, a legendary saxophone player, about whom no one seems to know anything—but Johns isn't interested in Dan, or his journalism. Dan needs somebody who can get to Johns, somebody the man might pity even more than himself.

But Jimmy's investigation leads him into an inverted world of artificial biographies, conspiracies, and identities in flux. He discovers there can be no solace. Not the women. Not the booze. Not the collateral damage that follows him like a lingering storm.

Dark, brutal, and evocative, We Dream of Water examines the unpublicized damage of one of America's worst natural disasters. Smajić has reinvented the literary noir genre and is sure to be heralded as a striking new voice in American fiction.


Srdjan Smajić was born in 1974 in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. He earned his B.A. from the American University in Bulgaria and his Ph.D. in Victorian Literature from Tulane University. Between 1998 and 2010 he taught literature at Tulane, University of New Orleans, and Furman University.

Smajić's academic publications include articles in English Literary History, Textual Practice, and Novel: A Forum on Fiction. His book, Ghost-Seers, Detectives, and Spiritualists: Theories of Vision in Victorian Literature and Science, was released by Cambridge University Press in June 2010. His poems have appeared in The CafĂ© Review, The New Orleans Review, Rukovet, and The Xavier Review. We Dream of Water is his first novel.