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“Spellbinding...A captivating debut.” —Harper’s Bazaar

In this stirring and lyrical debut novel—perfect for fans of The Water Dancer and the Legacy of Orïsha series—the Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya, is brought to vivid life as she discovers the power of Black resilience, love, and feminine strength in antebellum America.

Shallow Waters imagines Yemaya, an Orïsha—a deity in the religion of Africa’s Yoruba people—cast into mid-1800s America. We meet Yemaya as a young woman, still in the care of her mother and not yet fully aware of the spectacular power she possesses to protect herself and those she holds dear.

The journey laid out in Shallow Waters sees Yemaya confront the greatest evils of this era; transcend time and place in search of Obatala, a man who sacrifices his own freedom for the chance at hers; and grow into the powerful woman she was destined to become. We travel alongside Yemaya from her native Africa and on to the “New World,” with vivid pictures of life for those left on the outskirts of power in the nascent Americas.

Yemaya realizes the fighter within, travels the Underground Railroad in search of the mysterious stranger Obatala, and crosses paths with icons of our history on the road to freedom. Shallow Waters is a nourishing work of ritual storytelling from promising debut author Anita Kopacz.

Photograph by Kesha Lambert

Anita Kopacz is an award-winning writer and spiritual advisor. She is the former editor in chief of Heart & Soul Magazine and managing editor of BeautyCents Magazine. When she is not writing, you can find her on the dance floor or traveling the world with her children. Anita lives in New York City with her family.

"Michelle Kopacz's narration fits the tone perfectly. Her deep voice is warm and measured. This is an audiobook about the power of stories, and listening to Kopacz deliver it is by turns enraging and healing. She's excellent with all the characters, but it's the way she embodies Yemaya's determination and spirit that will capture listeners' hearts."

– AudioFile Magazine