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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

'Stunning'
The Times

'A fearless new Australian voice that accepts no geographical limits: these are stories of leaping power and the most breath-taking grace and intimacy.' Helen Garner

'Wonderful stories that snarl and pant across our crazed world . . . an extraordinary performance. Nam Le is a heartbreaker, not easily forgotten.' Junot Diaz

'The fiction debut of the year.' James Ley, Australian Book Review

'The best book debut of 2008.' New York Magazine
'The runaway literary success of 2008.' Weekend Australian

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143009610

    March 2, 2009

    Penguin

    336 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742284781

    March 2, 2009

    Penguin eBooks

    336 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • 2008
    Shortlisted
    Fiction
  • W.A. Premier's Book Award
    2008
    Shortlisted
    Fiction
  • 2009
    Winner
    Australian Short Story Collection - Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Award
  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2009
    Winner
    Newcomer of the Year
  • Dylan Thomas Prize (UK)
    2009
    Winner
    Fiction
  • Melbourne Prize for Literature
    2009
    Winner
    Best Writing Award
  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards
    2009
    Winner
    Book of the Year
  • Prime Minister's Literary Award
    2009
    Winner
    Fiction
  • Qld Premier's Literary Award
    2009
    Winner
    Australian Short Story Collection - Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Award
  • SMH Young Novelist
    2009
    Winner
    Prize for Writing for Young Adults
  • 2009
    Longlisted
    Best First Book
  • 2009
    Shortlisted
    Fiction
  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2009
    Shortlisted
    Book of the Year
  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Regional)
    2009
    Longlisted
    Best First Book
  • Qld Premier's Literary Award
    2009
    Shortlisted
    Fiction
  • Victorian Premier's Literary Award
    2009
    Shortlisted
    Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
  • Kathleen Mitchell Award
    2010
    Winner
    Prize for Writing for Young Adults

Also by Nam Le

Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice:Penguin Specials

Recommendations

No Middle Name
Uncommon Type
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
Paris For One And Other Stories
Men Without Women
Island
Canto Bight (Star Wars)
The Dreams Of Bethany Mellmoth
The Pier Falls
The Shore
The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
Homesick For Another World
The Start of Something
Snowdrift and Other Stories (includes three new recently discovered short stories)
The Tsar of Love and Techno
A Snow Garden and Other Stories
Make Something Up
Collected Stories
Revenge