Author(s): Sunil Yapa
A heart-stopping debut about protest and riot . . .1999. Victor, homeless after a family tragedy, finds himself pounding the streets of Seattle with little meaning or purpose. He is the estranged son of the police chief of the city, and today his father is in charge of one of the largest protests in the history of Western democracy. But in a matter of hours reality will become a nightmare. Hordes of protesters - from all sections of society - will test the patience of the city's police force, and lives will be altered forever: two armed police officers will struggle to keep calm amid the threat of violence; a protester with a murderous past will make an unforgivable mistake; and a delegate from Sri Lanka will do whatever it takes to make it through the crowd to a meeting - a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. In amongst the fray, Victor and his father are heading for a collision too. YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE THE SIZE OF A FIST, set during the World Trade Organization protests, is a deeply charged novel showcasing a distinct and exciting new literary voice.
A symphony of a novel. In the contemporary tradition of Aleksandar Hemon and Philipp Meyer, with echoes of Michael Ondaatje and Arundhati Roy, Yapa strides forward with a literary molotov cocktail to light up the dark Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is a stunningly orchestrated work of narrative power. This novel marshals all the vital forces of our existence - from the domestic to the political - and offers them to the reader with equal doses of compassion and beauty Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names There is nothing to say about Sunil Yapa's debut novel that its wonderful title doesn't already promise - its heart beats and bleeds on every page, in prose so powerful it feels built of muscle and tissue and sinew and sweat. This book is delightfully, forcefully alive, and I feel more alive for having read it Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Fist is an enthralling street-level vision of the 1999 WTO riots, a story visceral, horrifying harrowing, and often heroic. But above all, this book is a full-throated chorus of voices on all sides - protestors, cops, delegates, politicians, and ramblers - as democracy runs headlong into the machinery of global power. Sunil Yapa has achieved something special, a story that is as tragic as it is relevant, as unflinching as it is humane. Watch out Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek
Sunil Yapa holds an MFA from Hunter College. The son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, USA, Yapa has lived in many places around the world, including Argentina, China and India, as well as London, Montreal and New York City. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is his first book.