“A stunningly well-written second novel from a major talent of great style and soul.” The Miami Herald
The Ordinary Seaman
978-0-8021-3548-3 • $15.00 • Paperback • Feb. 1998
Francisco Goldman won accolades and international recognition with his stunning first novel, The Long Night of White Chickens, the winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and a finalist for a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In The Ordinary Seaman his incredible talents are again brought to the fore in an unsettling and beautiful story about life, death, and love.
The ordinary seaman is Esteban, a nineteen-year-old veteran of the war in Nicaragua who has come to America with fourteen other men to form the crew of the boat Urus. Docked on a desolate Brooklyn pier, the Urus turns out to be a wreck, the menwithout the ability to return to their homesbecome its prisoners, and the city of New York is transformed into a mysterious and alluring world they cannot penetrate. Esteban, haunted by his dead lover from the war, eventually gathers the courage to escape from the ship and embarks on a quest for a new life and love in the city. The Ordinary Seaman is both a richly human story of abandonment, loss, betrayal, and the power of love and a modern fable about America’s hidden immigrant culture.