r Letter From Eastie: The Setting is Eastie
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Setting is Eastie

Eastie is the setting for a new book by Lorraine Adams. The book, called Harbor, tells the story of an Algerian immigrant who stows away on a tanker for 52 days, swimming to shore when he reaches Boston Harbor.

According to the Amazon.com review:
Aziz Arkoun arrives in Boston Harbor after 52 days as a stowaway in the hold of a tanker. He swims to shore through icy waters, arriving ill and disoriented. His experience is comparable to that of the Guatemalan immigrants in "El Norte": what he finds when he arrives is only slightly better than what he left, but at least he is not in immediate danger of being killed. Adams does a masterful job of rendering Aziz's confusion as he confronts a strange language in an almost unknowable world, tries to suss out what illegal goings-on his cousin is up to, sleeps in a chair a few hours a night, and works in a low-paying job for a brutish boss.

US News has also reviewed the book saying:
Adams's tale grew out of the author's reporting for the Washington Post on the attempted bombing of Los Angeles International Airport by an Algerian in 1999, and it is infused with telling details. Arkoun's overcrowded East Boston apartment is papered with posters of pop idol Madonna; one Algerian expat spends his days reading the Koran and watching Al Pacino movies. Yet the tightly woven ending offers no easy answers. Some of the guilty escape; some of the innocent are captured. Along the way, Adams adds welcome shading to the usual portrayal of the war on terror

As soon as I can read this book, I will post my own review. The author will be speaking about her book at the Brookline Booksmith on September 27th.


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