Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Lee Boudreaux is my favorite editor in the book business, and this is the first book she acquired under her own imprint.  It’s the story of the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, told from points of view varying from protestors, to the police, to a third-world delegate who is desperate to get his country into the WTO. This gripping debut explores what it means to put your life on the line and makes us ask ourselves how far we would go to protect a cause you’re passionate about. ~Emily

— From 2016 Paperback Fiction

January 2016 Indie Next List

“Yapa's debut novel is a raw orchestra of voices needing to be heard. Bringing to life the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, all those present are both dedicated and at a loss: the organizers and protesters, the police and their chief, the delegates and politicians, and the young unintended participant who is searching for meaning, purpose, and hope amid the brutality. From the personal to the political, within a single fraught day the whole world is blown wide open. Yapa has captured the chaos -- and the beauty -- with both fierceness and heart.”
— Melinda Powers (E), Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA


A Finalist for the PEN/ Faulkner Award

n Amazon Best Book of the Year

A Washington Post Notable Book

A Barnes & Noble Discover Pick

One of Bustle's "Most Important Books of 2016"

Named Most Anticipated Book of the Year in Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, TIME, Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, BuzzFeed, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, Ploughshares, Bustle, TheMillions, BookRiot, The Oregonian, The San Diego Union-Tribune, River City Reading, Indigo

Grief-stricken after his mother's death and three years of wandering the world, Victor is longing for a family and a sense of purpose. He believes he's found both when he returns home to Seattle only to be swept up in a massive protest. With young, biracial Victor o one side of the barricades and his estranged father--the white chief of police--on the opposite, the day descends into chaos, capturing in its confusion the activists, police, bystanders, and citizens from all around the world who'd arrived that day brimming with hope. By the day's end, they have all committed acts they never thought possible.

As heartbreaking as it is pulse-pounding, Yapa's virtuosic debut asks profound questions about the power of empathy in our hyper-connected modern world, and the limits of compassion, all while exploring how far we must go for family, for justice, and for love.

About the Author

Sunil Yapa received his MFA from Hunter College, where he was awarded the Alumni Scholarship & Welfare Fund Fellowship and was selected twice as the Esquire Fiction Intern. In June 2010, he won the Asian American Short Story Award. In May 2010, Yapa was the writer-in-residence at the Norman Mailer Writers' Colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The son of a Sri Lankan father, and a mother from Montana, Yapa grew up in Pennsylvania, and has since traveled and lived in 48 states and 35 countries.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316386555
ISBN-10: 0316386553
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux / Back Bay Books
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English