The Boat

Nam Le

The Boat
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The Boat

Nam Le

In 1979, Nam Le’s family left Vietnam for Australia, an experience that inspires the first and last stories in The Boat. In between, however, Le’s imagination lays claim to the world.

‘The Boat raises the bar for Australian writing.’ Peter Craven, Heat

‘Nam Le is … a disturber of the peace.

'Consider the subjects of his stories: a child assassin in Colombia ('Cartagena’), an ageing New York artist desperate for a reconciliation with his daughter (‘Meeting Elise’), a boy’s coming of age in a rough Victorian fishing town (‘Halflead Bay’), before the first atomic bomb falls in Japan (‘Hiroshima’), The suffocations of theocracy in Iran (‘Tehran Calling’). This astonishing range is topped and tailed by accounts of the uneasy reunion of a young Vietnamese writer in America with his ex-soldier father, and by the title story - the escape of a group of exhausted refugees from the Vietcong in a wallowing boat.

‘One might be permitted to think, after all this high seriousness and intensity, Nam Le can’t do funny. But this criminally talented 29-year-old can do that as well.’ Barry Oakley, Australian Literary Review 

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