On Such a Full Sea

Chang-Rae Lee. Riverhead, $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59448-610-4
Lee's (The Surrendered) latest novel is set in a dystopic future world in which the cities of Detroit and Baltimore are now facilities, called B-Mor and D-Troy by their residents, all of whom are of Asian descent. These city dwellers spend their lives in happy serfdom, working day jobs to produce goods (mostly food) for the richer Charter communities. But when Fan, an unassuming 16-year-old with a talent for diving, abandons B-Mor in search of her vanished boyfriend, Reg, the fabric of orderly B-Mor begins to fray. Lee tells the story of Fan's quest, from the facilities to the open counties (lawless places where Fan's unwavering purpose and childlike demeanor are the only things that protect her), and, finally, to a Charter called Seneca. The narrator is the collective voice of B-Mor, who often interrupts Fan's journey with digressions on the nature of legends and the impossibility of any story surviving, unaltered, the whims of the teller. It's an engrossing read, and Lee's skills as a world builder of the finest order are evident in every chapter. Late in the second half of the book, Fan is temporarily imprisoned with a group of kept girls. All of their eyes are altered to resemble those of anime characters, and they're trapped in a white dormitory, where they magic-marker their histories onto the wall. Lee's descriptions of their images—which start as truth and then careen into a fantastic blend of imagination and interpretation—are beautiful metaphors for the way stories take on lives of their own. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/09/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Show other formats
FORMATS
Book - 978-1-59463-242-6
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-59463-289-1
Hardcover - 557 pages - 978-1-4104-6887-1
Paperback - 978-1-59463-355-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-221-1
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-59463-325-6
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-4087-0547-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.