Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky donating to IRC

1st Printing Features: Trade paper, Gate-fold, Deckle Edge


Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky

a novel by
David Connerley Nahm

$ 12.00 $ 16.00


All author proceeds are donated to IRC (International Rescue Committee). During the month of July 2018 Two Dollar Radio made a matching donation. 

*One of the Best Books of 2014 —NPR, Flavorwire
*A Top-10 Independently-Published Title Overlooked by the National Book Foundation —Electric Literature

"Wonderful. While this isn't a thriller, at least in any traditional sense of the word, it's deeply suspenseful. More than anything, it's Nahm's deep sense of place that's most apparent in his novel. His descriptions of rural Kentucky are gorgeous, but he digs far below the surface to portray the real soul of the town. Remarkable... it's impossible to stop reading until you've gone through each beautiful line, a beauty that infuses the whole novel, even in its darkest moments." 
—Michael Schaub, NPR


Leah’s little brother, Jacob, disappeared when the pair were younger, a tragedy that haunts her still. When a grown man arrives at the non-profit Leah directs claiming to be Jacob, she is wrenched back to her childhood, an iridescent tableau of family joy and strife, swimming at the lake, sneaking candy, late-night fears and the stories told to quell them.

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky is a wrecking-ball of a novel that attempts to give meaning and poetry to everything that comprises small-town life in central Kentucky. Listen: they are the ghost stories that children tell one another, the litter that skirts the gulley, the lines at department stores. A gorgeous, haunting, prismatic jewel of a book.

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm =

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky = W.G. Sebald + Clarice Lispector + Cynthia Ozick

* In most cases, none of these writers endorse this book. Our math formulas are supposed to be amusing anecdotes, similar to shelf-talkers in bookstores that say "If you like X, you might enjoy Y," or "This Book is like Cormac McCarthy writing an episode of Saved by the Bell with a soundtrack by Philip Glass."


Scroll to bottom for Goodreads reviews.

"In 2014, Two Dollar Radio emerged as one of the one of the small presses to beat, and one of their flagship books was David Connerley Nahm’s Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky. Nahm is one of the more impressive writers out of a growing group who are reclaiming the region as a literary hotbed. Measured, poetic, and propelled forward by its own logic, this novel should have a long life."
—Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire

"With emotional precision, Nahm wholly engages us in the story of protagonist Leah Shepherd’s lifetime grief over the disappearance of her brother Jacob when he was seven and she was 10 years old. The inventive plotting navigates past and present with elegiac unfolding that reveals Leah’s isolation built with walls of loss and guilt... You cannot help but be transfixed."
—Kassie Rose, The Longest Chapter, 'Rippling reflections in grief'

"This haunting debut novel explores small-town life in the middle of Kentucky and the ties—however frayed—that bind."
—Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune

"Nahm writes the kinds of sentences you have to stop and read several times over, not because they’re difficult to understand but because you didn’t know language about things you’ve seen a hundred times in your Southern childhood could be made so dazzling."
—Mandy Shunnarah, Deep South Magazine, '3 Books For Southern Expats Missing Home'

"Combining a slow churned story and a map of sentences that shimmer with the morning dew of bluegrass, Nahm’s debut novel is a fantastic read through and through."
—Mark Shultz, Carmichael’s Bookstore via LEO Weekly, 'Books of the Bluegrass: 10 must reads by Kentucky writers'

"Magnificent. Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky stands out from much of recent American writing."
—P.T. Smith, Bookslut

 "A dreamy, creative, and carefully crafted tale. [A] haunting book which will cause the lump in your throat to rise quickly and stay with you as you fall asleep."
Charleston Gazette

 "A book as dazzling and unsettling as a lone firework suddenly bursting—then just as quickly vanishing—on an otherwise dark, quiet night. [Ancient Oceans] nestles itself nicely alongside Winesburg, Ohio and Our Town in the modest but magnificent tradition of small-town chronicles in American literature. If my own soul-plunging experience is any indication, Ancient Oceans is an electrical storm."
—Alex Houston, Full Stop

"Wonderful. While this isn't a thriller, at least in any traditional sense of the word, it's deeply suspenseful. More than anything, it's Nahm's deep sense of place that's most apparent in his novel. His descriptions of rural Kentucky are gorgeous, but he digs far below the surface to portray the real soul of the town. Remarkable... it's impossible to stop reading until you've gone through each beautiful line, a beauty that infuses the whole novel, even in its darkest moments."
—Michael Schaub, NPR

 "Absorbing. There's an arch beauty to Nahm's prose. One feels to be discovering the story rather than just receiving it."
Star Tribune

"A young woman whose brother disappeared when they were children is increasingly anxious about a stranger in town, and the result is 'a powerful first novel, the kind that makes you want to stop people in the street to tell them about it.' Kudos to an upcoming small press."
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal's best summer debuts

 "A quietly profound and lyrical novel, one of the year's strongest debuts."
Largehearted Boy

"...pulls off a beautiful merging of genres and delivers a creepy, playful, and superbly-written novel that bravely ignores the line between past and present and explores how memories can subdue current events and become all-consuming leviathans... David Connerley Nahm is the kind of author who understands that the way a story is told is as crucial as the story itself... a thrilling, valiantly bizarre debut, and it should place its author on the radar of everyone who’s interested in unique fiction that celebrates language and isn’t afraid to break new ground when it comes to rhythm and time."
—Gabino Iglesias, Atticus Review

 "Ancient Oceans is full of the hidden richness of a small town childhood, and it’s that immersion in the innocence, naïveté, and wonder of children that makes this ghost story work."
—Graham Oliver, Fiction Advocate

"Each page of Nahm’s writing is absolutely infectious. With a subtle cadence, he paints his story with brilliant familiarity; from the freedom of childhood summers to the confining restrictions of adulthood. Nahm’s handle on language alone would make for a novel well beyond most debuts, but when blended with the book’s unique structure, Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky moves into a league of its own."
—Shannon Nemer, River City Reading, RVA News

"It's the prose that makes this suspenseful first novel unforgettable. Like a pointillist painting, Nahm's writing daubs image upon image to construct an impressionistic view of life in a small town. A powerful first novel, the kind that makes you want to stop people in the street to tell them about it."
—Reba Leiding, Library Journal (Starred)

 "Intriguing... Nahm has braided [Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky] together artfully."
Publishers Weekly

"In this quiet and graceful novel, protagonist Leah is consumed by thoughts of her brother, who went missing when they were children. Nahm captures the beauty and wonder and melancholy of lives un-lived."
—Rebecca Kauffman, Read It Forward

"Nahm’s impressionist prose presents a beautifully dark and haunting narrative... Nahm is a master of description, and he establishes a deep sense of place with the poetic detail of James Agee... A remarkable debut novel."
—Aaron Smithers, Southern Cultures

"David Connerley Nahm's Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky knows that all true stories are ghost stories, full of horror and want, distance and loss—the lasting specters of the tales we tell ourselves to mask the long truths that refuse to let us go."
—Matt Bell

"Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky is the kind of book that can cast a spell over you, one that pulls you in. The writing is so beautiful, and the book’s mood so evocative, after you finish it, you’ll find yourself wanting to read it again."
—M. B. Manthe, All the Parts of My Life blog

"We anticipate a haunting and riveting read."
—Laura Pearson, Time Out Chicago's list of 'Books to read in 2014.'

"...this book is remarkable for the urgency and beauty it lends to observations of the ordinary sounds and sights of the world... Inside Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky's world, Nahm plumbs the depths of the permutations of what remains in language to be savored and revisited."
—Cynthia-Marie Marmo O'Brien, The Collagist

"Nahm’s novel is one you carry with you after you’ve finished it."
—Andrew Mark, The Minotaur's Spotlight, Arcadia University

"Armed with solid characters, an intriguing plot, and plenty of variety as it relates to narrative delivery and sentence structure, Nahm's Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky is a promising debut."
—Jason Jordan, American Book Review, 'Have You Seen Me?'

"This unusual novel is a treat for those who want to read something different. It will probably be studied in creative writing classes for a long time. It is a must-read for people interested in American literature."
—Barbara Milnor, Aspen Daily News


Author David Connerley Nahm

David Connerley Nahm was born and raised in a small town in central Kentucky. Currently, he lives in the mountains of Virginia where he practices law and teaches Law and Literature at James Madison University. His short stories have appeared in Lady Churchill's Rosebud WristletTrunk StoriesEyeshot, and on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.


Watch the official book trailer for the novel Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky:

Sneak Peek

Enjoy a sneak peek of select pages from Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky! (Use the "full screen" option at bottom right to enlarge the pages):


LIST PRICE: $16.00
PAGES: 192
PRINT ISBN: 9781937512200
DIGITAL ISBN: 978-1-937512-21-7
RELEASE DATE: 8/15/2014
SIZE: 5.5" x 7.5"


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Two Dollar Radio is a family-run outfit founded in 2005 with the mission to reaffirm the cultural and artistic spirit of the publishing industry. We aim to do this by presenting bold works of literary merit, each book, individually and collectively, providing a sonic progression that we believe to be too loud to ignore. Check out the ABOUT US section to read more...

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