The Ordinary Seaman by Francisco Goldman

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The Ordinary Seaman

By the author of The Long Night of the White Chickens: A novel of the perils, passions, and misadventures of a young Nicaraguan sailor trapped in Brooklyn.
 
Named a Best Book of the Year by Newsday, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Publishers Weekly
 
At nineteen, Esteban Gaitan is already a veteran of war. A Sandinista soldier and an avowed communist, Esteban leaves Nicaragua to begin a new life in America. It’s the late 1980s when he, along with fourteen other men, arrive to form the crew of the Urus, a ship docked on a desolate Brooklyn pier.
 
Elias and Mark, the owners of the Urus, hold the men captive, forcing them to work in a vain attempt to make the rotting vessel seaworthy. Without the means to return home, Esteban remains a virtual prisoner, haunted by the loss of the woman he loved during the war. Eventually, he sneaks off the ship, making nocturnal forays into Brooklyn, where he meets Joaquina, a Mexican immigrant who works as a manicurist, and begins to plot his permanent escape.
 
Centering his novel around Esteban, but also telling the stories of his fellow landlocked sailors, Francisco Goldman proves once again that he is “a major talent of great style and soul” (The Miami Herald).
 
“Often very funny . . . Here, a corner of Brooklyn becomes the exotic and foreign experience, and through Esteban’s eyes it is as mysterious and alluring as Tangiers.” —The Dallas Morning News
 
Publisher: Grove Press ISBN: 9781555846404 Pages: 400