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The Boat

by

The Boat Cover

ISBN13: 9780307268082
ISBN10: 030726808x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stunningly inventive, deeply moving fiction debut: stories that take us from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran; from New York City to Iowa City; from a tiny fishing village in Australia to a foundering vessel in the South China Sea, in a masterly display of literary virtuosity and feeling.

In the magnificent opening story, "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," a young writer is urged by his friends to mine his father's experiences in Vietnam — and what seems at first a satire of turning one's life into literary commerce becomes a transcendent exploration of homeland, and the ties between father and son. "Cartagena" provides a visceral glimpse of life in Colombia as it enters the mind of a fourteen-year-old hit man facing the ultimate test. In "Meeting Elise," an aging New York painter mourns his body's decline as he prepares to meet his daughter on the eve of her Carnegie Hall debut. And with graceful symmetry, the final, title story returns to Vietnam, to a fishing trawler crowded with refugees, where a young woman's bond with a mother and her small son forces both women to a shattering decision.

Brilliant, daring, and demonstrating a jaw-dropping versatility of voice and point of view, The Boat is an extraordinary work of fiction that takes us to the heart of what it means to be human, and announces a writer of astonishing gifts.

Review:

"From a Colombian slum to the streets of Tehran, seven characters in seven stories struggle with very particular Swords of Damocles in Pushcart Prize winner Le's accomplished debut. In 'Halflead Bay,' an Australian mother begins an inevitable submission to multiple sclerosis as her teenage son prepares for the biggest soccer game of his life. The narrator of 'Meeting Elise,' a successful but ailing artist in Manhattan, mourns his dead lover as he anticipates meeting his daughter for the first time since she was an infant. The opening 'Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice' features a Vietnamese character named Nam who is struggling to complete his Iowa Writer's Workshop master's as his father comes for a tense visit, the first since an earlier estrangement shattered the family. The story's ironies — 'You could totally exploit the Vietnamese thing,' says a fellow student to Nam — are masterfully controlled by Le, and reverberate through the rest of this peripatetic collection. Taken together, the stories cover a vast geographic territory (Le was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Australia) and are filled with exquisitely painful and raw moments of revelation, captured in an economical style as deft as it is sure." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Ambitious and confident, these seven stories rise from diverse cultures and are filtered through characters of radically different sensibilities. Nam Le combines research and dreaming in a wonderfully wide range of imagined worlds. But he has set himself a difficult task: moving us with personal grief against the backdrop of historical disaster.

In the title story, 16-year-old Mai... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[R]emarkable....[Le's] sympathy for his characters and his ability to write with both lyricism and emotional urgency lend his portraits enormous visceral power." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"A polished and intense debut story collection of astonishing range....Consummately self-assured." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Le writes rawly rigorous stories that capture entire worlds; each character is distinctive and fully fleshed out, each plot eventful as a full-length novel but artfully compressed. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"You may never have heard of Nam Le, but with the publication of his first collection of short stories...you can expect to hear much more about him in the future....Not yet 30, he is already an extraordinarily accomplished and sophisticated writer." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"I've been telling friends about The Boat for weeks now, saying 'This guy's got it.' Now I'm telling you. Pass it on." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Readers of Philip Roth and Andre Brink, as well as those who enjoy complex and emotion-charged short fiction, will devour this book." Booklist

Synopsis:

In this stunningly inventive fiction debut, stories transport readers from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran, from a fishing village in Australia to the South China Sea.

About the Author

Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia. He has received the Pushcart Prize, the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, and fellowships from the Iowa Writers Workshop, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Currently the fiction editor of the Harvard Review, he has published work in Zoetrope: All Story, A Public Space, Conjunctions, One Story, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007. He divides his time between Australia and the United States.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

alsek, July 3, 2008 (view all comments by alsek)
Outstanding debut by a writer to watch. These diverse stories are exceptionally well written leaving the reader anxiously awaiting the next work by Mr. Nam Le.
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(11 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307268082
Author:
Le, Nam
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.95 x 1.1 in .95 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Boat Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307268082 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "From a Colombian slum to the streets of Tehran, seven characters in seven stories struggle with very particular Swords of Damocles in Pushcart Prize winner Le's accomplished debut. In 'Halflead Bay,' an Australian mother begins an inevitable submission to multiple sclerosis as her teenage son prepares for the biggest soccer game of his life. The narrator of 'Meeting Elise,' a successful but ailing artist in Manhattan, mourns his dead lover as he anticipates meeting his daughter for the first time since she was an infant. The opening 'Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice' features a Vietnamese character named Nam who is struggling to complete his Iowa Writer's Workshop master's as his father comes for a tense visit, the first since an earlier estrangement shattered the family. The story's ironies — 'You could totally exploit the Vietnamese thing,' says a fellow student to Nam — are masterfully controlled by Le, and reverberate through the rest of this peripatetic collection. Taken together, the stories cover a vast geographic territory (Le was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Australia) and are filled with exquisitely painful and raw moments of revelation, captured in an economical style as deft as it is sure." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[R]emarkable....[Le's] sympathy for his characters and his ability to write with both lyricism and emotional urgency lend his portraits enormous visceral power."
"Review" by , "A polished and intense debut story collection of astonishing range....Consummately self-assured."
"Review" by , "Le writes rawly rigorous stories that capture entire worlds; each character is distinctive and fully fleshed out, each plot eventful as a full-length novel but artfully compressed. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "You may never have heard of Nam Le, but with the publication of his first collection of short stories...you can expect to hear much more about him in the future....Not yet 30, he is already an extraordinarily accomplished and sophisticated writer."
"Review" by , "I've been telling friends about The Boat for weeks now, saying 'This guy's got it.' Now I'm telling you. Pass it on."
"Review" by , "Readers of Philip Roth and Andre Brink, as well as those who enjoy complex and emotion-charged short fiction, will devour this book."
"Synopsis" by , In this stunningly inventive fiction debut, stories transport readers from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran, from a fishing village in Australia to the South China Sea.
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