When John Donner returns to the East Coast after spending some time out west, he finds his home town submerged under the dark waters of a new lake--created in the construction of a nearby hydroelectric dam. Although the public is banned from the area, Donner manages to talk his way in--and remembers the life he led there long ago.
A haunting and lyrical story, this book deals with themes of family history, memory, reconciliation, and art's role in creating community. The Waters of Kronos tells a story parallel to the life of its author--and it is believed in certain circles to be autobiographical. It established Richter's reputation as a great American novelist, winning the National Book Award in 1960.