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Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid on the Hudson

By Mark Siegel (Author and Illustrator)

> Review by Carolyn Marcille

Mark Siegel’s smudgy pencil drawings lend a beautiful air of authenticity to this quasi-fairy tale about intrigue, magic, loyalty and romance on the Hudson in an era that is commonly associated with the kind of stories Mark Twain himself created. Siegel’s illustrations are masterful enough to tangibly echo both water and music. When the mermaid shows up, she fits so seamlessly into the established universe Siegel created that the reader is happily forced to marvel at his deft execution. Characters are lovingly rendered, from sweet but torn ship’s captain Elijah, to debonair and tortured Lafayette, to C.G. Beaverton, an author whose wildly popular book of local lore informs both men’s vastly different actions. The dreamlike sensation produced by the story does great justice to our romantic idealism about stories that take place over water. In an interview with, Siegel states that while “the Hudson is often described as the waterway of New York’s commercial might . . .I’m more interested in the Hudson of strange dreamers and lovers.” After reading Sailor Twain, you will be as well.

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