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In the Baltimore of the future, in this novel called “B-mor”, our heroine is leading a pleasant upper-middle class life in a structured compound with her loving family until the day her boyfriend is taken. This book chronicles the journey of Fan to find her missing partner in a highly segregated and classist society that isolates its citizens from one another creating a divided state. Told with haunting vision, this book stuck with me for months after reading it. I could not shake the visions of lawless countryside and over-regulated cities, where life exists in vastly different realities for the residents born to privileged or poverty, that ring true in our society. In the wake of Ferguson and the fall of Detroit, this book takes you to a not-too-distant reality that you can now see coming.
"Watching a talented writer take a risk is one of the pleasures of devoted reading, and On Such a Full Sea provides all that and more. . . . With On Such a Full Sea, Chang-rae Lee] has found a new way to explore his old preoccupation: the oft-told tale of the desperate, betraying, lonely human heart."--Andrew Sean Greer, The New York Times Book Review "I've never been a fan of grand hyperbolic declarations in book reviews, but faced with On Such a Full Sea, I have no choice but to ask: Who is a greater novelist than Chang-rae Lee today?"--Porochista Khakpour, The Los Angeles Times 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 Lee's 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.
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.