Between Two Waters

Original title: Seize îles

Publication Date:

August 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Editions XYZ

Territories Handled

English (World excl Canada), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction, Short Stories

Between Two Waters

Original title: Seize îles


A diving logbook infused with the breath of classic adventure stories and to which is grafted the poetry of the stars, hydras and strata lying in the deepest parts of the lakes. — Les Libraries

Coup de cœur. — Renaud-Bray

One comes out of this reading more intelligent than when one went in. […] A great book, because it respects its reader. — Culture Hebdo

The reader who is interested in the questions concerning the territory or the fragility of nature will find relevant reflections on these subjects. Here is a voice that has been assumed: that of a curious man who wants to tell his story through our waterways. — L’Actualité

Like his museum, Jean-Louis Courteau’s book is a collection of discoveries. Or rather a collection of stories, inspired by wonder and introspection. One senses that Jean-Louis dives as much to explore his soul as he does the lake. — Journal Accès

The diving is only a pretext. It is more about encounters. The discovery of strange beings whose superficial difference dissolves under the meters of water; of places where a particular magic seems to operate. Underneath, the poetry operates its alchemy, using as a catalyst the wonder, the chance, the order and the chaos, even the fear sometimes. — 98,5 FM Quart de nuit

This generous narrator, who is none other than the writer, always sincere and humble, swoons and is intoxicated by the elements under the blue or black surface of the Sixteen Islands Lake […]. One will learn a lot from these stories, carrying with them unusual objects […]. Legends made by a not-so-distant past, like the one of a truck that, once upon a time, would have been shipwrecked under an icy surface that was not solid enough. The poetry, always at the rendezvous, sharpening the sensitivity of the narrator, does not disturb in any way the comprehension of the particular word which informs us of the loves of the gray trout, on the intelligence of the bass, the game of the otters. — Ma page littéraire (literary blog)

Sparkling waters, murky abysses, the marvels and mysteries that are found under the surface of a lake. Above the water, residents of the sixteen islands and surrounding area live full and unique lives, each with their own story to tell. Dive into their world with this collection of snapshots as distinct as the brushstrokes used to paint their portraits.

These journeys into the watery depths are diving tales, but also so much more. Courteau uses words to paint close encounters with sturgeon and lake trout, archaeological discoveries and post-industrial finds, reveries between two waters, and a quest for self-discovery. A striking voice, remarkable pen, a captivating story, an immersive experience that has us revisit our place on the blue planet.

The author explores fascinating themes such as our connection to the land, the ecological impacts of pollution, archaeological tourism, and our relationship with nature. Includes twenty-eight short stories, each one more captivating than the other. These stories will appeal to diving enthusiasts and literature lovers alike.