On Such a Full Sea (Signed Book)

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Overview

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...

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On Such a Full Sea

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594632990
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 6.26 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Chang-rae  Lee
Chang-rae Lee
A native of Seoul, Korea, Chang-rae Lee emigrated to the U.S. with his parents when he was just three years old, and he's been fascinated with his adopted country ever since. His breakout first novel, Native Speaker, was a critical success on both sides of the Atlantic, and his latest novel, Aloft, continues to explore the American dream. As The New Yorker reflects, "The prose Chang-rae Lee writes is elliptical, riddling, poetic... beautifully made."

Biography

Chang-rae Lee landed on the literary scene with Native Speaker, a detective story about much more than just another crime. Detective Henry Park grows too attached to those he investigates as he discovers the connection between broad social questions and his personal failings. Critics responded, and Lee's debut received a string of recognition, including a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Biography/Critical Appreciation Everyone agrees that Chang-rae Lee is a writer to watch. His debut novel, Native Speaker, (1995) won the American Book Award and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Plus, two literary cornerstones, The New Yorker and Granta, named him one of the twenty best American writers under forty.

Lee and his family emigrated from Seoul, South Korea to the United States in 1968. His family settled in Westchester, New York, and Lee eventually attended Yale and the University of Oregon, where he earned his M.F.A.

Native Speaker is a story about a Korean-American detective, Henry Park, whose investigative eye is eventually turned upon himself. The novel takes a challenging look at Park's effort reconcile his two cultures in an even larger culturally diverse setting, New York City. The language is simple, yet the reader is allowed a deep and intriguing look inside the head of the main character, the politics that affect him, and his struggles with love and cultures. The New York Times called Lee's debut "highly original," and the Literary Review raved, "... Native Speaker seems like a new kind of novel, the plainsong of unassimilated man, and in the murmur of his nascent voice is the soft clash of borders."

In 1999, Lee's second novel, A Gesture Life continued the themes of identity and assimilation. Lee wrote the novel over the course of four years, although it was originally about the experience of a Korean "comfort woman," forced to sexually service invading Japanese soldiers. Lee traveled to Korea and interviewed surviving comfort women, but two years into the novel, one of the characters, previously considered a minor one, captured Lee's imagination and wouldn't let go. Remarkably, Lee abandoned everything he had written except for one character -- Doc Hata.

Franklin "Doc" Hata is a reserved, older physician, Korean by birth, raised in Japan, and now living in New York City. Only after much needling by his daughter, Doc Hata begins to reveal his painful secrets: his time as a medic in the Japanese army during World War II, his love for one of the Korean comfort women, and the guilt that has kept him silent for most of his life. It's an unforgettable story, and The New York Times called the book "... a work of astonishing psychological acuity and compassion."

With the 2004 release of Lee's Aloft, once again, readers are treated to a portrait of a man in the throes of a reconciliation. Readers who expect Lee's novels to deal exclusively with Asian Americans will be pleasantly surprised to see the author flex his writing skills with the creation of Jerry Battle, the semi-retired head of a (mostly) white Long Island family. On the ground, Battle is inundated with family bickering, his upcoming 60th birthday, and the mystery surrounding his wife's death. Aloft in his small private plane, Battle escapes all of this, although only temporarily. His is the story of how to cope with responsibility -- to the past, and to the unknown.

Lee a writer and a teacher, as well as the director of the M.F.A. Program at Hunter College of City University in New York City. Those fortunate enough to be his students get to learn from the man who knows the stuff of human nature -- that the aftereffect of any act is the core of every great story, and that even the most conventional characters can bear the weight of unconventional story lines.

Good To Know

"If I weren't a writer," Lee reveals in our interview, "I'd probably be working in the food and/or wine business, perhaps running a wine or coffee bar -- or even an Asian noodle soup shop."
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    1. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Seoul, Korea
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Yale University, 1987; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, University of Oregon, 1993

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    The book starts a little slowly, mostly because the reader is be

    The book starts a little slowly, mostly because the reader is being introduced to a new America.  After that the book really picks up.  Th style of writing is wonderful, if a bit hard to follow sometimes.  I was not a fan of the authors earlier works so I went into this book with no expectations.  Just a very good read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    The story lingers, giving one's mind a lot to think about. A not

    The story lingers, giving one's mind a lot to think about. A not too distant future and A main character revealed only in how she is imagined by those who knew her once and have heard of her adventures makes for strangely compelling reading. I finished much too quickly.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2014

    For Thinkers

    On Such a Full Sea is mostly commentary by a narrator with dialogue taking up less than half the book. It is primarily a philosophical/sociological meditation. The plot is okay but far from the popular SiFi adventure story. If this type of book interests you--good; if you like space operas or other action dories, you may not like it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Extremely challenging but greatly rewarding.

    I'm one of those people who finds it difficult to slow down when I take a vacation. A similar situation occurs each evening when I get home from work and pick up Lee
    's novel. Once I have slowed enough, the prose and storyline act upon me and I find much of the violence and horror discussed lost of its edge. It's less a novel than a prayer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Advice

    Is it good or not? Should I bother to read? Please respond...

    0 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Format consists of one page paragraphs ala james

    And as confusing. Two stars for a sentence that caught my eye. We are all from somewhere else but it is gone and no longer there.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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