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Harborby Lorraine Adams
Synopses & Reviews
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
A young Algerian stowaway, Aziz Arkoun escapes the hold of a Middle Eastern tanker to seek refuge in Boston with some other Algerian immigrants, only to find himself caught up in a world of duplicity, stolen identities, and ambiguity, much like his former life in Algeria as he begins to suspect that he and his friends are under surveillance. A first novel. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's #1 Fiction Book of the Year
A 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, a Pulitzer prize-winning writer, was educated at Princeton University and was a graduate fellow at Columbia University, where she received a master’s degree in literature. She lives in New York City and is at work on her second novel.
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