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Harbor

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Harbor Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Lorraine Adams's debut novel, Harbor, addresses the issues of a post-9/11 world, but she wisely sets it away from the main event....There is a self-conscious topicality to this tale, and the writing can at times feel overly reportorial. (Adams is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and it shows in the research she put into this novel.) But Adams can be poetic, too, and the portrait she draws of these men's relationships and psyches is complex, vibrant, and imaginative. The result is as compelling as it is necessary." Anna Godbersen, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A powerful first novel that engages the tumultuous events of today: at once an intimate portrait of a group of young Arab Muslims living in the United States, and the story of one man?s journey into — and out of — violence.

We first meet Aziz Arkoun as a 24-year-old stowaway — frozen, hungry, his perceptions jammed by a language he can't understand or speak. After 52 days in the hold of a tanker from Algeria, he jumps into the icy waters of Boston harbor and swims to shore. Seemingly rescued from isolation by Algerians he knew as a child, he instead finds himself in a world of disillusionment, duplicity, and stolen identities, living a raw comedy of daily survival not unlike what he fled back home.

As the story of Aziz and his friends unfolds — moving from the hardscrabble neighborhoods of East Boston and Brooklyn to a North African army camp — Harbor makes vivid the ambiguities of these men's past and present lives: burying a murdered girl in the Sahara; reading medieval Persian poetry on a bus, passing for Mexican; shoplifting Versace for clubbing, succumbing to sex in a public library; impersonating a double agent. But when Aziz begins to suspect that he and his friends are under surveillance, all assumptions — his and ours — dissolve in an urgent, mesmerizing complexity.

And as Harbor races to its explosive conclusion, it compels us to question the questions it raises: Who are the terrorists? Can we recognize them? How do they live?

A debut novel as evocative as it is convincing — a groundbreaking work that announces a fearless new voice in American fiction.

Review:

"The uncertain lives of illegal Algerian immigrants are the subject of this compelling, topical debut novel. Adams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, brings a reporter's eye for detail to the story, which begins with Aziz Arkoun's arrival in Boston Harbor. After 52 days as a stowaway in a tanker's hold — his third attempt to escape his country — Aziz swims to shore. Adams reveals and conceals just enough to keep readers almost as disoriented as Aziz, who, with no English and ruined health, survives almost by chance. But Aziz has fled Algeria, where he was an accidental double agent for Islamist militants, for another kind of brutish existence: intermittent minimum-wage employment, shady compatriots and FBI scrutiny. Straying from his modus operandi of inconspicuous survival, he and his friend Ghazi investigate the mysterious storage unit of their roommate Rafik. Is Rafik moving stolen designer clothes, hash or explosive chemicals? Their fingerprints implicate them in Rafik's racket; Aziz flees to Brooklyn, and Ghazi runs to Montreal, where he's seduced by a life of crime and perhaps by the 'Allah-talk' of a childhood acquaintance who aspires to be a node in an international terrorist network. Aziz is no 'prayer-boy,' but for the FBI there are too few degrees of separation between him and a terrorist cell. Adams's lucid, psychologically complicated page-turner captures the ambiguities of and raises important questions about the domestic war on terror. Agent, Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit. (Sept. 1) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"One of America's oldest stories, the immigrant adventure, is magically new in this stunning debut....Adams runs the gamut from farce to horror. If her reach occasionally exceeds her grasp, that detracts only minimally from a fine success." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[A] provocative first novel....The ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter will draw in readers, who will find more depth and complexity here than they might have expected. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Stunning....Arkoun?s story is told in simple language, but the conversations between him and those around him resonate with the echoes of their native tongue, full of colorful poetry." Debi Lewis, Booklist

Review:

"[A] great, gutsy first novel....The term 'terrorist cell' has a chilly, clinical ring that keeps it divorced from the ambiguous, messy everyday lives we all live. In this outstanding novel, Adams decisively reestablishes the connection. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Brilliantly, Adams pulls all the different threads together....A strong and disturbing book." Annie Proulx

Review:

"Harbor is a remarkable act of artistic empathy. It takes us far beyond journalism to dramatize not just the awful nature of our strife-filled world but also the hopeless complexity of its ethical and cultural roots." Neil Gordon, The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

A powerful first novel that engages the tumultuous events of today, Harbor is at once an intimate portrait of a group of young Arab Muslims living in the United States, and the story of one man's journey into — and out of — violence.

Synopsis:

A brilliant first novel that tells the story of a North African man's journey into — and out of — violence. A heart-stopping novel, told in shimmering prose, that engages the tumultuous events of today.

Synopsis:

A brilliant first novel that tells the story of a North African man's journey into — and out of — violence. We first meet Aziz Arkoun as a 24-year-old stowaway — frozen, hungry, his perceptions jammed by a language he can't understand or speak. After 52 days in the hold of a tanker from Algeria, he jumps into the icy waters of Boston harbor and swims to shore. Seemingly rescued from isolation by Algerians he knew as a child, he instead finds himself in a world of duplicity and stolen identities, living a raw comedy of daily survival not unlike what he fled in Algeria.

As the story of Aziz and his friends unfolds, Harbor makes vivid the ambiguities of these young men's past and present lives — burying a murdered girl in the Sahara; reading medieval Persian poetry on a bus; passing for Mexican; shoplifting Versace for clubbing; succumbing to sex in a public library; impersonating a double agent. But when Aziz begins to suspect that he and his friends are under surveillance, all assumptions — his and ours — dissolve in an urgent, mesmerizing complexity. Harbor asks questions about the very questions it raises: Who are the terrorists? Can we recognize them? How do they live? A heart-stopping novel, told in shimmering prose, that engages the tumultuous events of today.

Synopsis:

A New York Times and Washington Post Notable BookEntertainment Weekly's #1 Fiction Book of the YearA tremendously acclaimed and exquisitely realized novel of literary suspense, Harbor recounts the adventures of Aziz Arkoun who, at twenty-four, makes his way to America via the hold of an Algerian tanker and the icy waters of Boston harbor. Aziz soon finds himself a community of fellow Algerians, but their means of survival in this strange land begins to remind him of the dangerous world he was desperate to escape. As the story of Aziz and his friends unfolds, moving from East Boston and Brooklyn to Montreal and a North African army camp, Harbor takes us inside the ambiguities of these men's past and present lives. When Aziz discovers that he and his circle are most likely under surveillance, all assumptions, his and ours, dissolve in urgent, mesmerizing complexity.  

About the Author

Lorraine Adams was educated at Princeton University and was a graduate fellow at Columbia University, where she received a master's degree in literature. She won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and was a staff writer for the Washington Post for eleven years. She lives in Washington, D.C., and is at work on her second novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400076888
Author:
Adams, Lorraine
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
September 13, 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
7.98x5.30x.70 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

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

Harbor Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400076888 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The uncertain lives of illegal Algerian immigrants are the subject of this compelling, topical debut novel. Adams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, brings a reporter's eye for detail to the story, which begins with Aziz Arkoun's arrival in Boston Harbor. After 52 days as a stowaway in a tanker's hold — his third attempt to escape his country — Aziz swims to shore. Adams reveals and conceals just enough to keep readers almost as disoriented as Aziz, who, with no English and ruined health, survives almost by chance. But Aziz has fled Algeria, where he was an accidental double agent for Islamist militants, for another kind of brutish existence: intermittent minimum-wage employment, shady compatriots and FBI scrutiny. Straying from his modus operandi of inconspicuous survival, he and his friend Ghazi investigate the mysterious storage unit of their roommate Rafik. Is Rafik moving stolen designer clothes, hash or explosive chemicals? Their fingerprints implicate them in Rafik's racket; Aziz flees to Brooklyn, and Ghazi runs to Montreal, where he's seduced by a life of crime and perhaps by the 'Allah-talk' of a childhood acquaintance who aspires to be a node in an international terrorist network. Aziz is no 'prayer-boy,' but for the FBI there are too few degrees of separation between him and a terrorist cell. Adams's lucid, psychologically complicated page-turner captures the ambiguities of and raises important questions about the domestic war on terror. Agent, Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit. (Sept. 1) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Lorraine Adams's debut novel, Harbor, addresses the issues of a post-9/11 world, but she wisely sets it away from the main event....There is a self-conscious topicality to this tale, and the writing can at times feel overly reportorial. (Adams is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and it shows in the research she put into this novel.) But Adams can be poetic, too, and the portrait she draws of these men's relationships and psyches is complex, vibrant, and imaginative. The result is as compelling as it is necessary." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "One of America's oldest stories, the immigrant adventure, is magically new in this stunning debut....Adams runs the gamut from farce to horror. If her reach occasionally exceeds her grasp, that detracts only minimally from a fine success."
"Review" by , "[A] provocative first novel....The ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter will draw in readers, who will find more depth and complexity here than they might have expected. Recommended."
"Review" by , "Stunning....Arkoun?s story is told in simple language, but the conversations between him and those around him resonate with the echoes of their native tongue, full of colorful poetry."
"Review" by , "[A] great, gutsy first novel....The term 'terrorist cell' has a chilly, clinical ring that keeps it divorced from the ambiguous, messy everyday lives we all live. In this outstanding novel, Adams decisively reestablishes the connection. (Grade: A)"
"Review" by , "Brilliantly, Adams pulls all the different threads together....A strong and disturbing book."
"Review" by , "Harbor is a remarkable act of artistic empathy. It takes us far beyond journalism to dramatize not just the awful nature of our strife-filled world but also the hopeless complexity of its ethical and cultural roots."
"Synopsis" by , A powerful first novel that engages the tumultuous events of today, Harbor is at once an intimate portrait of a group of young Arab Muslims living in the United States, and the story of one man's journey into — and out of — violence.
"Synopsis" by , A brilliant first novel that tells the story of a North African man's journey into — and out of — violence. A heart-stopping novel, told in shimmering prose, that engages the tumultuous events of today.
"Synopsis" by , A brilliant first novel that tells the story of a North African man's journey into — and out of — violence. We first meet Aziz Arkoun as a 24-year-old stowaway — frozen, hungry, his perceptions jammed by a language he can't understand or speak. After 52 days in the hold of a tanker from Algeria, he jumps into the icy waters of Boston harbor and swims to shore. Seemingly rescued from isolation by Algerians he knew as a child, he instead finds himself in a world of duplicity and stolen identities, living a raw comedy of daily survival not unlike what he fled in Algeria.

As the story of Aziz and his friends unfolds, Harbor makes vivid the ambiguities of these young men's past and present lives — burying a murdered girl in the Sahara; reading medieval Persian poetry on a bus; passing for Mexican; shoplifting Versace for clubbing; succumbing to sex in a public library; impersonating a double agent. But when Aziz begins to suspect that he and his friends are under surveillance, all assumptions — his and ours — dissolve in an urgent, mesmerizing complexity. Harbor asks questions about the very questions it raises: Who are the terrorists? Can we recognize them? How do they live? A heart-stopping novel, told in shimmering prose, that engages the tumultuous events of today.

"Synopsis" by , A New York Times and Washington Post Notable BookEntertainment Weekly's #1 Fiction Book of the YearA tremendously acclaimed and exquisitely realized novel of literary suspense, Harbor recounts the adventures of Aziz Arkoun who, at twenty-four, makes his way to America via the hold of an Algerian tanker and the icy waters of Boston harbor. Aziz soon finds himself a community of fellow Algerians, but their means of survival in this strange land begins to remind him of the dangerous world he was desperate to escape. As the story of Aziz and his friends unfolds, moving from East Boston and Brooklyn to Montreal and a North African army camp, Harbor takes us inside the ambiguities of these men's past and present lives. When Aziz discovers that he and his circle are most likely under surveillance, all assumptions, his and ours, dissolve in urgent, mesmerizing complexity.  
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