Synopses & Reviews
From the beloved award-winning author of Native Speaker
and The Surrendered
, a highly provocative, deeply affecting story of one woman's legendary quest in a shocking, future America.
On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lees elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.
In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan's journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.
“Lee, always entrancing and delving, takes a truly radical leap in this wrenching yet poetic, philosophical, even mystical speculative odyssey....Lee brilliantly and wisely dramatizes class stratification and social disintegration, deprivation and sustenance both physical and psychic, reflecting, with rare acuity, on the evolution of legends and how, in the most hellish of circumstances, we rediscover the solace of art. Electrifying.” Booklist (starred review)
“The title alone is an astonishing feat of encapsulated genius from the inimitable Lee....Brilliant....A heart-thumping adventure.” Library Journal (starred review)
"A harrowing and fully imagined vision of dystopian America from Lee....The potency and strangeness of [his]characters never diminish the sense that Lee has written an allegory of our current predicaments, and the narration, written in the collective voice of B-Mor, gives the novel the tone of a timeless and cautionary fable. Welcome and surprising proof that there's plenty of life in end-of-the-world storytelling." Kirkus (starred review)
About the Author
Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction; A Gesture Life; Aloft; and The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Selected by The New Yorker as one of the 20 Writers for the 21st Century,” Chang-rae Lee is Professor professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and the a Shinhan Distinguished Visiting Professor at Yonsei University.