The River Queen

A Memoir

Mary Morris


Download Image Mary Morris The River Queen

Available Formats


In the fall of 2005 acclaimed writer Mary Morris set off down the Mississippi River in a battered old houseboat called The River Queen, with two river rats named Tom and Jerry and an ailing, irascible rat terrier named Samantha Jean. Her father had just died. Her daughter had gone off to college. Lost and uncertain, Morris returned to the river of her youth, to the waterside towns where her father had once lived. In this poignant and often humorous memoir, Morris reclaims the world of her childhood as she gets a bearing on her future. She describes traveling down stream through the Midwest, living like a pirate as she survives a tornado and infestation of mayflies, bivouacs on beaches, and ties up to paddleboats in the dark of night. As she learns to pilot the River Queen through these fabled waters, Morris delivers a memoir that “deserves to be both a best-seller and a classic” (The Courier-Journal).

Connect with the Author

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now


Praise for The River Queen

"The River Queen is my new favorite book; I wish I'd been the one to write something so flawless, so honest, and so resonant."--Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister's Keeper


"A journey or quest is one of the oldest literary forms, and The River Queen is a perfect example of why this genre is so satisfying. . . . Morris's trip--and her tale--are something that everyone could envy."--Los Angeles Times


"Fascinating . . . This bittersweet travel tale is told in the very real voice of a smart, sad, gutsy, and absolutely appealing woman whose odyssey transformed her life in ways she never imagined."--The Tucson Citizen


"Morris is a delightfully curious traveler. . . . She has an excellent capacity to be at once acerbic and impressed, and readers settle into Morris's story as if she is an old friend."--Booklist


"Never sentimental or maudlin, this is a realistic memoir of a strong woman on both a physical and an emotional journey at midlife."--Library Journal


"I have read The River Queen with great pleasure, because it is such an American adventure, which Mary Morris handles with verve--the Mississippi, the unexpected storms and odd encounters, but most of all how the adventure and the lark becomes a passage into memory, childhood, and the past."--Paul Theroux

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Mary Morris

MARY MORRIS is the author of the travel memoirs Nothing to Declare, Wall to Wall, and Angels and Aliens, along with six novels and three collections of short stories. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

Mary Morris

©Jill Krementz

Reading Guide

Organizing a Reading Group


Get the Guide

Download PDF

Tell Your Friends


Find More Books

Go to Website

Stay Updated

Sign Up

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The River Queen
A Memoir
Mary Morris

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
May 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312427894
ISBN10: 0312427891
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
May 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466843608
ISBN10: 1466843608
288 pages

From The Publisher


Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter