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The Lotus Eaters

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. 

On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen's infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh's secret keeper, boss and truest friend.

Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American womans struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war.

Synopsis:

A unique and sweeping debut novel that follows an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men.

Synopsis:

- Winner of UK's James Tait Black Prize

- New York Times Notable Book of 2010

- American Library Association 2011 Notable Book

- Finalist LA Times Book Award

- A Kirkus Reviews Top Debut Fiction of 2010

- Bookmarks Magazine Best Literary Fiction of 2010

In the final days of a falling Saigon, The Lotus Eaters unfolds the story of three remarkable photographers brought together under the impossible umbrella of war: Helen Adams, a once-naïve ingénue whose ambition conflicts with her desire over the course of the fighting; Linh, the mysterious Vietnamese man who loves her, but is torn between conflicting loyalties to his homeland and his heart; and Sam Darrow, a man addicted to the narcotic of violence, to his intoxicating affair with Helen and to the ever-increasing danger of his job. All three become transformed by the conflict they have risked everything to record.

In this much-heralded debut, Tatjana Soli creates a searing portrait of three souls trapped by their impossible passions, contrasting the wrenching horror of combat and the treachery of obsession with the redemptive power of love.

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About the Author

TATJANA SOLI attended Stanford University and the Warren Wilson MFA program. Her stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly, Confrontation, Gulf Coast, Other Voices, Nimrod, Third Coast, Carolina Quarterly and Sonora Review among others. Her work has been twice listed in the 100 Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Tustin, California and teaches through the Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

Marcia Summers, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Marcia Summers)
I've read many books on the Vietnam war and "The Lotus Eaters was engaging and haunting. I had not read about female photo journalists in the Vietnam war. Some nights, I read late into the early morning hours, I didn't want to put it down!

Once finished, I researched the three female photo journalists that were a composite of the main character. The learning continued. I also checked out the double spy based on fact. This book will be on my book shelf next to "Shopping Cart Soldiers".
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Esther Bradley-DeTally, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by Esther Bradley-DeTally)

The facts:

April, 1975, Vietnam with North Vietnamese's relentless march into Saigon, and we all remember the helicopters, Americans flee, Vietnamese left behind. The story told through the viewpoint of a Western Journalist’s life, Helen, a veteran photographer who covers wars, Saigon after the Americans leave. A city of a lonely silence, abandoned, lost, keeper of dreams gone poof, a love story, fugue states, incredible language, and so it goes; I cannot stick to the facts, the straight facts Jack, just the facts, Soli’s language calls me.

The language ��"
“They drove the empty, hacked roads, dust flying like a long sail of sheer red silk behind them, hanging suspended in the coppery sky.” (p. 51)

“This is what happened when one left one’s home��"pieces of oneself scattered all over the world, no one place every completely satisfied, always a nostalgia for the place left behind. Pieces of her in Vietnam, some in this place of bone. She brought the letter to her nose. The smell of Vietnam: a mix of jungle and wetness and spices and rot. A smell she hadn’t realized she missed.” P. 277

The Lotus Eaters was a first novel!

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Infinite Pest, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Infinite Pest)
A great, sweeping novel about the Vietnam war from a perspective we haven't seen before. The language is beautiful, the description is astounding and story keeps you in rapt attention. I could not put this book down.
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(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312611576
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Author:
Soli, Tatjana
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Contemporary Women
Subject:
War & Military
Subject:
War
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100330
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes one black-and-white map
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military

The Lotus Eaters
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$ In Stock
Product details 400 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312611576 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A unique and sweeping debut novel that follows an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men.
"Synopsis" by ,

- Winner of UK's James Tait Black Prize

- New York Times Notable Book of 2010

- American Library Association 2011 Notable Book

- Finalist LA Times Book Award

- A Kirkus Reviews Top Debut Fiction of 2010

- Bookmarks Magazine Best Literary Fiction of 2010

In the final days of a falling Saigon, The Lotus Eaters unfolds the story of three remarkable photographers brought together under the impossible umbrella of war: Helen Adams, a once-naïve ingénue whose ambition conflicts with her desire over the course of the fighting; Linh, the mysterious Vietnamese man who loves her, but is torn between conflicting loyalties to his homeland and his heart; and Sam Darrow, a man addicted to the narcotic of violence, to his intoxicating affair with Helen and to the ever-increasing danger of his job. All three become transformed by the conflict they have risked everything to record.

In this much-heralded debut, Tatjana Soli creates a searing portrait of three souls trapped by their impossible passions, contrasting the wrenching horror of combat and the treachery of obsession with the redemptive power of love.

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