book cover of The Boat People

The Boat People

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
Globe and Mail bestseller, The Boat People is an extraordinary novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage only to face the threat of deportation amid accusations of terrorism

When a rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees from Sri Lanka's bloody civil war reaches Vancouver's shores, the young father thinks he and his six-year-old son can finally start a new life. Instead, the group is thrown into a detention processing center, with government officials and news headlines speculating that among the "boat people" are members of a separatist militant organization responsible for countless suicide attacks - and that these terrorists now pose a threat to Canada's national security. As the refugees become subject to heavy interrogation, Mahindan begins to fear that a desperate act taken in Sri Lanka to fund their escape may now jeopardize his and his son's chance for asylum.
Told through the alternating perspectives of Mahindan; his lawyer, Priya, a second-generation Sri Lankan Canadian who reluctantly represents the refugees; and Grace, a third-generation Japanese Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan's fate as evidence mounts against him, The Boat People is a spellbinding and timely novel that provokes a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis.

Genre: Literary Fiction    

Praise for this book

"The Boat People is a burning flare of a novel, at once incendiary and illuminating. With a rare combination of precision, empathy and insight, Sharon Bala has crafted an unflinching examination of what happens when the fundamental human need for safety collides with the cold calculus of bureaucracy. In the best tradition of fearless literature, it shatters our comfortable illusions about who we really are and reveals just how asymmetrical the privilege of belonging can be. This is a brilliant debut – a story that needs to be told, told beautifully." - Omar El Akkad

"This wise and compassionate novel is an intimate portrait of one of the great humanitarian crises of our time. Its power lies in its breadth, for it examines not just those who come to our country seeking refuge, but also those who determine their fate. As such it implicates us all in the ongoing crisis." - Shyam Selvadurai


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Used availability for Sharon Bala's The Boat People

Hardback Editions

January 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Boat People: A Novel
Author(s): Sharon Bala
ISBN: 0-385-54229-1 / 978-0-385-54229-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

December 2018 : USA Paperback

Title: The Boat People
Author(s): Sharon Bala
ISBN: 0-525-43246-9 / 978-0-525-43246-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


March 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Boat People
Author(s): Sharon Bala
ISBN: 0-385-54402-2 / 978-0-385-54402-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2018 : Canada Paperback
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Title: The Boat People
Author(s): Sharon Bala
ISBN: 0-7710-2429-0 / 978-0-7710-2429-0 (Canada edition)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

January 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Boat People
Author(s): Sharon Bala
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon   


January 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Boat People
Author(s): Sharon Bala
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

January 2018 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Boat People: A Novel
Author(s): Sharon Bala
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   


January 2018 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Boat People
Author(s): Sharon Bala
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA