This is the second episode of Story Behind the Story, a monthly interview series featuring conversations with authors about their creative process. In it, host Clara Sherley-Appel talks to Los Angeles writer and translator Katya Apekina about her debut novel, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, and the dark side of the artist-muse relationship.
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish tells the story of Edie and Mae, two sisters who go to live with their estranged father in New York after their mother’s suicide attempt. It has received a great deal of attention for its unique form: the book is structured like an oral history, with a different narrator from one chapter to the next, interspersed with archival content, including poetry, letters, and interviews. The book has appeared on “best of” lists from a variety of publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, Vulture, Buzzfeed, and Publisher’s Weekly, and NPR’s Michael Shaub described it as “a stunningly accomplished book” with a “refreshingly original” structure, storyline, and characters.