Synopses & Reviews
A boy grew up beside a sea of hooks and he learned to swim in that sea and to notice the hooks as they rose and fell and twisted in the tides...
What if you saw the world — with all its signs and signals, its schedules and habits and goals, the matrix of friends, the unspoken codes of conduct — emptied of ordinary meaning?
Imagine that the debris collected from the streets of your childhood spoke more urgently to you, with messages and wonders that compelled you to enter another world, a world whose broken pieces converged at the junctures of vision and illusion, of life and death.
In this wise and beautiful novel, the reader follows Christopher Westall, an alarmingly imaginative young man, through repeated trauma and transformation, on a journey from San Francisco to Bhutan.
His shattered life is woven from a thousand shards, hints, signs and tangled threads that are pursued and gathered toward its reassembly.
As memory, dream, fear and resilience exert their tidal pulls, Christopher's life tilts, collides, reverses, dissolves and reemerges, while risks and revelations glisten side-by-side in the depths of the Sea of Hooks.
"Sea of Hooks is an impressive work that uses...[a] fractured format to great effect, benefiting from Hill's powerful poetic sensibility." Shelf Awareness
"Poets see the world in a different way from the rest of us, and Sea of Hooks shows that, at least in the case of poet Lindsay Hill, they see novels differently, too. The first work of fiction from Hill, Sea of Hooks could be described as a coming-of-age novel — but that would do an injustice to its unique form....Dipping in and out of poetry like toes flirting with a blue lake's water, Sea of Hooks isn't an easy read, but it's often mesmerizing." Seattle Times
"Sea of Hooks is a terrifyingly beautiful novel by Portland writer Lindsay Hill. I can't think of the last time a book wrapped itself around me with such instant intensity, pulling me into another space, another life, one so steeped in pain from the first paragraph — yet I couldn't put it down....Unbelievably, this is Hill's first novel. More believable when you know he labored on it for 20 years; it reflects the depth and richness of a life's work and love. Recognition has begun: it has just been included in Publishers Weekly 10 Best Books for 2013, one of only five novels. May it find the passionate readership it deserves." The Oregonian
"Lindsay Hill's astonishing novel, Sea of Hooks, treads the main character's pathway...with a highly original narrative form and voice." Counterpunch
About the Author
Lindsay Hill was born in San Francisco and graduated from Bard College. Since 1974, he has published six books of poetry and his work has appeared in a wide variety of literary journals. Sea of Hooks is his first novel, the product of nearly twenty years of work. His other writing and editorial projects include the production of a series of recordings of innovative writing under the Spoken Engine label, and the co-editing, with Paul Naylor, of the literary journal Facture. Since leaving a career in banking, he has worked in the nonprofit sector. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, the painter Nita Hill.