Sel Souris is an island two hours off the coast of Gibraltar. It is a place for people who did not belong anywhere. The excluded, the persecuted, the misfit toys of Europe and Africa made their way to Sel Souris not because it was a desirable place to live but because it was not. As nobody wanted it, it became theirs. Birds do not like Sel Souris. Most animals do not do well there. The island has one thing above all else– beetles. Iridescent purple beetles swarm the island. The locals have many uses for them for they will never be short of beetles. No word defines Sel Souris so precisely as “occult.” It is both completely obscure and profoundly influential. Despite the fact that virtually nobody has heard of it, it has deeply influenced popular culture. Emily Bronte was brought back a live beetle from Sel Souris by a merchant uncle, who entertained her with tales of the little winged men who lived there. She named this beetle Pixie blossom the beetle lived with her for its entire life dying only when she did and was interred with her. The tales of the deep purple tea consumed by the Islanders was the inspiration for her famous quote “I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind.” William S. Burroughs spent the better part of a year on Sel Souris. His mixed fascination and repulsion of the Islanders’ relations with the local beetles, and the drugs derived from them, informed his mid-career work. Artists, musicians and psychonauts in search of strange new highs pursued rumors of a drug called Haze. Haze is the concentrated product of a gland in the beetles of Sel Souris. It is a euphoric and hallucinogen that engenders a sense of unity of purpose and kindness– expensive and scarce off the island. Haze made the outsider feel not only like they belonged to something, but that they were beautiful–that everything strange was beautiful Sleeping Underwater is a book about Sel Souris. Like a lot of people, a lot of things, it’s very hard to put it in a box. It’s a detective story and a historical drama. It’s a story about magic, and loss, and forgiveness. It’s an adventure story with monsters. It doesn’t belong in any particular section of your bookstore. It’s not one thing. It’s many It belongs on Sel Souris. Sel Souris is where you belong, when you don’t feel like you belong anywhere. Come and meet Sleeping Underwater, and escape to Sel Souris.. It’s strange and beautiful, like a lot of people. Like you.