August 1, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Review: On Such a Full Sea

1 min read

In his futuristic novel, On Such a Full Sea, Chang-rae Lee fears for our ability to conceive of a better tomorrow: Guernica

OnsuchafullseaIn On Such a Full Sea, Chang-rae Lee’s protagonist, Fan, takes an expedition out of a future, oppressive Baltimore—now called “B-Mor”—which has a set-up that will be familiar to readers of dystopian fiction. The residents of B-Mor are the long-off descendants of the people of “New China,” who came to America after turning their home country into an environmental wasteland. Their world is defined by a strict power structure: Like so many employees, the residents of B-Mor have regular tasks and days off, but their lives are circumscribed by their inability to move up and leave. Fan, for instance, is recruited to tend to the fish that serve as the primary foodstuff for everyone from the elite Charters to the less-privileged residents of B-Mor.

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