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The Flamethrowers meets Let the Great World Spin in this electrifying debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests.
On a rainy, cold day in November, young Victor—a boyish, scrappy, world traveler who’s run away from home—sets out to sell marijuana to the 50,000 anti-globalization protesters gathered in the streets. It quickly becomes clear that the throng determined to shut the city down–from environmentalists to teamsters to anarchists–are testing the patience of the police, and what started as a peaceful protest is threatening to erupt into violence.
Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the lives of seven people will change forever: foremost among them police chief Bishop, the estranged father Victor hasn’t seen in three years, two protesters struggling to stay true to their non-violent principles as the day descends into chaos, two police officers in the street, and the coolly elegant financial minister from Sri Lanka whose life, as well as his country’s fate, hinges on getting through the angry crowd, out of jail, and to his meeting with the president of the United States.
In this raw and breathtaking novel, Yapa marries a deep rage with a deep humanity, and in doing so casts an unflinching eye on the nature and limits of compassion.
An Amazon Best Book of January 2016: “Coursing with energy, Sunil Yapa’s Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is a rocket ship of a book, filled with heroics, violence and the propulsive action of a heart. Over the course of a day, Yapa spools a narrative of the now infamous World Trade Organization protests that took place along the streets of Seattle in 1990–a day that started peacefully and ended in blood. Yapa’s world introduces you to a kaleidoscope of characters and each is raw, real, driven by their own obligation and role in the protests—from the Chief of Police whose city it is to protect, to an ardent non-violent activist, to a delegate making his way to an important meeting in the hopes of transforming his country. This epic day unravels from every vantage point, and the result is a story empowered with exacting empathy. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is vivid, visceral, sly, and charged with action. You will race through it with a beating heart.”