Novelist Chang-rae Lee is known for his sober depictions of the world as we know it - family, immigration, war - and that makes his newest novel, On Such A Full Sea, something of a departure.
The new novel takes place in a chilling dystopia, a century or so beyond the present, where abandoned post-industrial cities like Baltimore have been converted into forced labor colonies and populated with immigrant workers. China is a distant, mythical memory.
Environmental catastrophes have laid waste to much of the world, a cancer-like disease has infected the entire population, and stratification by class and race is more pronounced and horrific than ever. The fate of the world may lay in the hands of one tiny, nervy girl named Fan, an enigmatic and beautiful fishtank diver, who jolts the labor colony by running away.
Lee has been honored with top prizes including a PEN/Hemingway Prize, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The New Yorker’s “20 Writers for the 21st Century,” Asian American Literary Award and was a Pulitzer finalist.