You can cast your vote for the 2015 Readers’ Choice Award online at www.literary-arts.org/voteOBA! The winner will be announced at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony on April 13 at the Gerding Theater at the Armory.
Between now and April 13, we will be featuring all of the 2015 Oregon Book Awards finalists.
2015 Oregon Book Awards Finalist
Sea of Hooks by Lindsay Hill
About the book:
A boy grew up beside a sea of hooks and he learned to swim in that sea and to notice the hooks as they rose and fell and twisted in the tides…
What if the world—with all its signs and signals, its schedules and habits and goals, the matrix of friends, the unspoken codes of conduct—were emptied of ordinary meaning? What if the debris from the streets of your childhood spoke more urgently to you, with messages and wonders that compelled you to enter another world, a world whose broken pieces converged at the junctures of vision and illusion, of life and death. In this astonishing debut novel centered around an alarmingly imaginative young man, we witness both trauma and transformation as Christopher Westall journeys from San Francisco to Bhutan to reconstruct himself. His life is shattered into a thousand shards, hints, signs and tangled threads that the reader pursues and gathers and reconstructs into a reading experience like no other. As memory and dream, fear and resilience exert their several tidal pulls, his life tilts, collides, reverses, dissolves and reemerges, glistening in the depths of the Sea of Hooks. By the end, like Christopher, you will very likely reclaim parts of yourself thought to have been treasures of childhood lost forever.
About the author:
Lindsay Hill was born in San Francisco and graduated from Bard College. He has published six books of poetry. Sea of Hooks is his first novel. Lindsay and his wife, Nita, live in Portland and work in the nonprofit sector.
Excerpt from Sea of Hooks:
“You may not believe in destiny. You may think that destiny is about things that are fated, but that’s not what I mean by destiny at all. To discharge the obligation of your gift, that’s what I mean by fulfilling your destiny—and it’s not assured—it’s not preordained. In fact, your destiny’s what’s most at risk in your life. And, Christopher, remember, that to discharge the obligation of your gift is not only to accomplish something, but also to express your gratitude—not gratitude for the gift itself, not really, but for the obligation that the gift bestowed, the obligation that provided a ground and a path, a way to inhabit being alive.”
“I can’t think of the last time a book wrapped itself around me with such instant intensity, pulling me into another space, another life, one so steeped in pain from the first paragraph—yet I couldn’t put it down.”
“…an almost impossibly sustained performance from beginning to end. Nearly every paragraph astonishes, every moment rich with magic and daring. Reminiscent of Robert Pirsig and Herman Hesse in its concern with authenticity, Sea of Hooks also has the unbearable anguish of Kafka’s diaries—making for an unforgettable trip.”
“The book jacket tells us that Hill spent nearly 20 years writing Sea of Hooks, and it shows; every paragraph seems to glimmer with a phrase that reminds us why we read literature.”