River Queens:

The Arkansas River

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"A soft, benevolent rain draws a curtain around the marina. Diesel trains rumble low and heavy along the waterfront. Their horns echo down the valley, and the trestle creaks under their weight. Forgotten cups of peppermint tea cool on the dresser as dreams from far, far away arrive one after the other. This is where we are. This is Spadra."

--Chapter 11: Spadra, A Fantasy


The Tennessee River

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"Cuba Landing is a simple affair...The fuel attendant is genuinely Goth, from the heavily mascaraed eyes and blanched out lips to the leather, studs, and chains slung across a tall and gaunt body...One day he will be a captain of industry, the catalyst for great social justice, national chairman of the Rotary Club, or CEO of some digital on-line shopping conglomerate, but today he is just somebody’s unemployed, no-good nephew trying to be hip in this sweltering backwater. And he’s cool with it."

--Chapter 13: Adventure


The Ohio River

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"These forty miles, 'the most beautiful part of the Ohio,' are primitive and remote...

Tarps shade a propane stove, a cistern, and beds made out of old quilts over plastic crates. Ladders, leaned against the bank and half-buried by sand, reach down to the beach below. The campers are men and boys. It’s Lord of the Flies for all ages."

--Chapter 24: "The Most Beautiful Part of the Ohio"