The Ordinary Seaman
By Francisco Goldman
(Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802135483, 400pp.)
Publication Date: January 1998
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The Ordinary Seaman, the second novel from acclaimed writer Francisco Goldman is a lyrical and spellbinding story of hope, despair, and the promise of love. The ordinary seaman is Esteban, a 19-year-old veteran of the war in Nicaragua, who has come to America with 14 other men to form the crew of the Urus. Docked on a desolate Brooklyn pier, the Urus is a wreck, and the men, without the means to return home, become its prisoners. Esteban, haunted by the loss of his first love in the war, gradually works up the courage to escape the ship and start a new life in the city. His story and those of his shipmates come to life, illuminating the conflicts and triumphs of the human heart.
What is it about the human spirit? Even in the most emotionally and physically trying times, somehow, it is able to remain victorious. Author Susan Choi recommends three tales of struggle and, ultimately, of those who achieve great feats in the face of adversity. More at NPR.org
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