Sunil Yapa's `Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist`
Sunil Yapa discusses his acclaimed debut novel, "Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist," with National Book Award finalist Solmaz Sharif.
Praise for Sunil Yapa:
"A fantastic debut novel.... What is so enthralling about this novel is its syncopated riff of empathy as the perspective jumps around these participants--some peaceful, some violent, some determined, some incredulous... Yapa creates a fluid sense of the riot as it washes over the city. "Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist" ultimately does for WTO protests what Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night did for the 1967 March on the Pentagon, gathering that confrontation in competing visions of what happened and what it meant."-- Ron Charles, Washington Post
"A symphony of a novel. Sunil Yapa inhabits the skins of characters vastly different to himself: a riot cop in Seattle, a punk activist, a disillusioned world traveler and a high-level diplomat, among others. Through it all Yapa showcases a raw and rare talent. This is a protest novel which finds, at its core, a deep and abiding regard for the music of what happens. In the contemporary tradition of Aleksandar Hemon and Phillipp Meyer, with echoes of Michael Ondaatje and Arundhati Roy, Yapa strives forward with a literary molotov cocktail to light up the dark."-- Colum McCann, author of the National Book Award winner "Let the Great World Spin"
About "Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist":
Grief-stricken after his mother's death and three years of wandering the world, Victor is longing for a family and a sense of purpose. He believes he's found both when he returns home to Seattle only to be swept up in a massive protest. With young, biracial Victor o one side of the barricades and his estranged father--the white chief of police--on the opposite, the day descends into chaos, capturing in its confusion the activists, police, bystanders, and citizens from all around the world who'd arrived that day brimming with hope. By the day's end, they have all committed acts they never thought possible.
As heartbreaking as it is pulse-pounding, Yapa's virtuosic debut asks profound questions about the power of empathy in our hyper-connected modern world, and the limits of compassion, all while exploring how far we must go for family, for justice, and for love.
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