“The beach is gray at dawn. He points to the barrel of his G3 when he says this, steel gray, he says. He smiles.”
A dazzling, emotionally riveting debut collection: the seven stories in Nam Le’s The Boat take us across the globe as he enters the hearts and minds of characters from all over the world.
Whether Nam Le is conjuring the story of 14-year-old Juan, a hit man in Colombia; or an aging painter mourning the death of his much-younger lover; or a young refugee fleeing Vietnam, crammed in the ship’s hold with 200 others, the result is unexpectedly moving and powerful.
This 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 talent.
“The short story collection is constantly on the endangered list, but this stunning collection … shows that it is alive and in the best of health”
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“A superb collection, brimming with humour and compassion”
“Nam Le’s lyricism and emotional urgency lend his portraits enormous visceral power … A remarkable collection”
new York Times
“Each voice is achingly present and authentic … [‘Halflead Bay’] is as good as anything Tim Winton has produced about Australian society”
“A breathtakingly assured collection of stories – powerful, moving, unsparingly honest – exhibiting a narrative confidence and range that is as remarkable as it is mature. A tremendous debut”
Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia. He has received the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Pushcart Prize and 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. His fiction has been appeared in Best Australian Stories, Best New American Voices, A Public Space, NPR’s Selected Shorts and more.