> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 2 March 2009
  • ISBN: 9780143009610
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $29.00

The Boat




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

  • Pub date: 2 March 2009
  • ISBN: 9780143009610
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $29.00

Also by Nam Le

See all

Awards & Recognition

  • W.A. Premier's Book Award

    Shortlisted • 2008 • Fiction

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Winner • 2009 • Newcomer of the Year

  • Dylan Thomas Prize (UK)

    Winner • 2009 • Fiction

  • Melbourne Prize for Literature

    Winner • 2009 • Best Writing Award

  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards

    Winner • 2009 • Book of the Year

  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards

    Winner • 2009 • New Writing

  • Prime Minister's Literary Award

    Winner • 2009 • Fiction

  • Qld Premier's Literary Award

    Winner • 2009 • Australian Short Story Collection - Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Award

  • SMH Young Novelist

    Winner • 2009 • Prize for Writing for Young Adults

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Shortlisted • 2009 • Book of the Year

  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Regional)

    Longlisted • 2009 • Best First Book

  • Qld Premier's Literary Award

    Shortlisted • 2009 • Fiction

  • Victorian Premier's Literary Award

    Shortlisted • 2009 • Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction

  • Kathleen Mitchell Award

    Winner • 2010 • Prize for Writing for Young Adults


Related titles