On Fragile Waves, the Debut Novel From E. Lily Yu, to Publish in Fall 2020 With Erewhon Books!

Erewhon Books will be publishing the debut novel from Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee, and winner of the Astounding Award for Best New Writer of 2012, E. Lily Yu.

This exquisite and unusual magical realist novel, On Fragile Waves, is a heartbreaking and haunting story about one refugee family’s quest for a new home in an unwelcoming world, told in prose that’s both beautifully economical and intensely lyrical. On Fragile Waves will be published in the Fall 2020 season.

Firuzeh and her brother Nour are children of war. Born in Afghanistan, they have seen fire fall from the sky for most of their lives. In the hope of escaping the endless cycle of violence, their parents—their Atay, Omid, and their Abay, Bahar—decide to leave the land of their ancestors in search of a better place.

Tragedy will strike more than once as the family undertakes its dangerous journey—first by land, then by sea—toward faraway Australia and has to learn that the kindness of strangers cannot always be relied on. Even when they are finally, reluctantly, admitted to the Promised Land, their travails are far from over, and Firuzeh in particular finds herself having to navigate the treacherous currents of a culture uncomprehending of her family’s.

On Fragile Waves threads the needle between contemporary and magical realist literature, centered around the important and timely subject matter of the plight of refugees and immigrants.

From author E. Lily Yu:

“Eight and a half years after I started this mad project, and many libraries and countries later, I am delighted that my novel has found a home at Erewhon. It is the best thing I have written, to date, and I can imagine no better publisher for On Fragile Waves. If a bus hit me now, I’d die without regret. Also, I recently got my hands on an advance copy of their excellent first title, S.A. Jones’ The Fortress, the reading experience of which does resemble being hit by a bus, but in a good way, and speaking as a reader, I’m looking forward to more excellence from Erewhon.”

From Erehwon President and Publisher Liz Gorinsky:

“I knew from the first page of On Fragile Waves that I was in for something special. Actually, I knew before that, because, given Lily’s stellar track record in short fiction, I wouldn’t expect anything less than an amazing novel from her. This book was more bracing and beautiful than I would have dared to hope for, and touching and thought-provoking and magical to boot. We’re so excited to share it with you soon. [However, no matter how good this book is, I still do not endorse Lily getting hit by a bus.]”


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