e-Book The Boat download

e-Book The Boat download

by Nam Le

ISBN: 0385665571
ISBN13: 978-0385665575
Language: English
Publisher: Anchor Canada (August 11, 2009)
Pages: 288
Category: Short Stories and Anthologies
Subategory: Literature

ePub size: 1107 kb
Fb2 size: 1404 kb
DJVU size: 1346 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 241
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Nam Le (Vietnamese: Lê Nam) (born 1978) is a Vietnamese-born Australian writer, who won the Dylan Thomas Prize for his book The Boat, a collection of short stories.

Nam Le (Vietnamese: Lê Nam) (born 1978) is a Vietnamese-born Australian writer, who won the Dylan Thomas Prize for his book The Boat, a collection of short stories. His stories have been published in many places including Best Australian Stories 2007, Best New American Voices, Zoetrope: All-Story, A Public Space and One Story. In 2008 he was named a 5 under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation.

Nam Le digs beneath the surface and unfailingly sees the bundles as human in these accomplished stories about the terrible . But The Boat, an extraordinary collection of seven short stories by Nam Le, is truly that kind of book.

Nam Le digs beneath the surface and unfailingly sees the bundles as human in these accomplished stories about the terrible reverberations of violence. Heller McAlpin, The Christian Science Monitor. It is uncommon that a writer’s first book can be described as masterful, especially when the author is not yet 30 years old.

I was delighted to find this book of well-written short stories by Aussie author Nam Le, who arrived here by boat as a refugee from Vietnam when he was only one. These eight stories are all quite different from each other and Le speaks in many voices from different countries, all believable: Vietnamese, Colombian, Japanese, Iranian, Australian. I think my favourite is the young Aussie lad in the fishing family with the sick mum. Football, a girl, bullies, a jetty, a struggling dad and younger 5★.

In his first book of stories, Nam Le asserts his right to roam beyond the Vietnamese thing. The Boat is transparently a product of the increasingly formalized milieu in which American writers train - a well-wrought collection that, in its acute self-consciousness, trails a telltale whiff of the industry that is its initial concern, of the heap of fellowship and job applications the fictional Le needs to draft and submit when he’s interrupted by his father.

It's hard not to sense autobiography in Nam Le's opener, in which a struggling Vietnamese-born creative writing student receives advice from a friend

It's hard not to sense autobiography in Nam Le's opener, in which a struggling Vietnamese-born creative writing student receives advice from a friend. You could totally exploit the Vietnamese thing," he exclaims, "but instead you choose to write about lesbian vampires, and Colombian assassins, and Hiroshima orphans, and New York painters with haemorrhoids. They end suddenly, leaving your heart in the lurch and your head wondering whether it's in Iran or Australia or the barrios of Columbia. And he is not afraid to explore the "Vietnamese thing", examining the effect of war on families, and setting his claustrophobic final tale upon a seething, starving boat of migrants.

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

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.

Nam Le writes with verve and a chameleon-like versatility, rendering varied characters with pitch-perfect credibility in a startling range of situations. A particular relief in that he steers clear of the typical cast of immigrant stories that Asian writers tend to veer towards - such a welcome breath of fresh air and definitely a writer to watch.

The Boat Nam Le. Book. 30 people like this topic.

With his immensely imaginative and gifted voice, Nam Le brings us a haunting collection of stories that resonate like those of JD Salinger, ZZ Packer, and Canada’s own Vincent Lam.A stunningly inventive 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 fishing village in Australia to a floundering vessel in the South China Sea, in a masterful display of literary virtuosity and feeling.In the magnificent opening story, 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 the ties between father and son. “Cartagena” provides a visceral glimpse of life in Colombia as a fourteen-year-old hit man faces 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. The title story returns us 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 harrowing decision.Adam Haslett praises Nam Le for “the kind of courage and directness it takes most writers years to achieve.” Charles D’Ambrosio says, “The Boat nails our collective now with an urgency and relevance that feel visionary.”From the Hardcover edition.
The Boat is a collection of human short stories with the common theme “hero takes a journey” although set in different cultures. Each story focuses on a critical point in the characters' lives. Le’s stories explore aspects of the human condition that cross cultural boundaries. He describes himself ( in Wikipedia) as a more lyrical minded writer rather than one who is more structurally oriented because he started out writing poetry and reading poetry.
In the first story Le himself is the main character. He is in the US, Iowa writer’s workshop, when his father visits from Australia. Le struggles to find a way of relating to his father after long absences and is unsure how he will appreciate his work as an author. All the words of the title Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Passion and Sacrifice are explored in this story.
In the second story Cartagena the Hero Ron is trying to extract himself from a dangerous situation in a dangerous city Medellin in Columbia and go to Cartagena. I haven’t been to Medellin and I understand Le hasn’t either. It reads like hell on earth (as does Tehran in another story). I do however understand and appreciate the human side of Ron. His concern for his mother and his mixed relationship with his girl friend are all things that happen across countries and cultures. Other stories relate to relationships between father and daughter, female friends, mother and son and finally two women and one child in a desperate boat journey out of communist Vietnam.
The final story “The Boat” is the most graphic and disturbing. Clearly the boat journey from Vietnam is something Le knows a lot about. It raises questions about the morality of those of us in Australia and other western countries that are now turning their backs on people in such dire situations in need of help.
I normally don’t appreciate short stories, as the limited space does not allow a lot of character development. The Boat collection however is one of the best I have read and I found myself getting very involved with each story.

The scope of this writing is tremendously impressive. David Mitchell notwithstanding, there aren't many modern writers who can globetrot as believably as Nam Le. Le possesses the strange ability to slip between skins with ease, and though the two strongest stories in the collection ("Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice" and "Halflead Bay") seem to reside closest to his own experiences, the range and reliability of the voices in this collection is nothing short of breathtaking.

I will be eagerly waiting for all of Nam Le's future work. This is a brilliant debut, and there's nowhere to go from here but up.

thank you!

Steve Koss wrote an insightful review here earlier suggesting a connection between this collection of seven short-stories and ethnic literature. Nam Le is Vietnamese, but only the first and last story are directly about the Vietnamese experience, the rest are a seemingly random mix of people and events from all over the world. Nam Le tells us he "could totally exploit the Vietnamese thing. But instead, [he] choose to write about lesbian vampires and Colombian assassins, and Hiroshima orphans - and New York painters with hemorrhoids." What do Colombian assassins, Hiroshima orphans and hemorrhoid infected New Yorkers have to do with the Vietnamese experience?

Everything. The problem is, as Le says, ethnic literature is "a license to bore. The characters are always flat, generic." Readers are either numb to it because of stereotypes or mental blockage, or have no frame of reference. And as Le's first story shows, the writer can't help but be exploitative in the process. However it is still possible to convey the feelings of the experience through a proxy, and so all of these stories immerse the reader with emotions in preparation for the last story about Vietnamese boat people.

It's been said there is no loneliness more acute than that experienced around other people, in particular family. The New York artist who waits alone in the restaurant for the daughter who never comes; the high school football star who fights his personal battles, but even with his father taking the punches, still faces it alone; the Colombian assassin who faces his destiny without his friends help; in each of the stories the main character is isolated and alienated and faces a great trauma. The experience of reading this book reminded me of when I was child, lost in the crowd, my parents seemingly gone forever and the world a difficult and cold place.

By the last story, "The Boat", the readers sensibilities have been so finely shaped to this sense of alienation, fear and dread that Nam Le is able to convey the Vietnamese boat people "ethnic experience" in a fresh and immediate way. The details and facts are conveyed through the words on the page, but the feeling and sense of experience comes from within. Using this as an interpretive framework, it no longer seems like a collection of short stories but a work greater than its elements, a masterful use of the short story format to touch on universal human experience.

Early Waffle
Beautifully written stories. But...so intense that they actually hurt, and take a while to "get over." Literally speaking, that's a good thing! I'm still reeling. But I know that these stories are well worth reading, and that this author is very, very gifted. It's not often that I encounter a "short story" author who can affect me, as a reader, to such a degree. This collection is for serious readers and/or serious students of literature: it's that good.

well conceived group of short stories,all exhibiting great construction,exquisite use of language and intrigue.Treat yourself to an inspiring read.I look forward to reading more by Nam Le

I was looking forward to reading this book because I thought Nam Le would have a fresh new writing style to reflect a new age of Australian authors. However, I found him writing stories that did not resonate as real or true to me. Settings in South America and Japan seemed unbelievable. In the Australian short story about the young boy with a mother with multiple sclerosis, the suffering the mother endured seemed so unlike my experience of supporting a multiple sclerosis sufferer. His writing is fluid and enjoyable though.

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