We are excited to announce that the 2023-2024 book title for Dal Reads is The Boat People by Sharon Bala!
- Free copies of the book will be available at Dalhousie Libraries next week – look for our book stations to grab your copy.
- eBook and audiobook copies are available by searching Novanet or the Libby app. To borrow materials, log in with your Dalhousie NetID and password. Get more information and guidance about borrowing eBooks.
About The Boat People:
In the tradition of Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal, Chris Cleave’s Little Bee, and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and inspired by a real incident, this high-stakes and increasingly timely novel powerfully evokes what it means to leave behind everything you have ever known to seek out a better life in a strange land.
When the rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees reaches the shores of British Columbia, the young father is overcome with relief: he and his six-year-old son can finally put Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war behind them and begin new lives. Instead, the group is thrown into prison, with government officials and news headlines speculating that hidden among the “boat people” are members of a terrorist militia. As suspicion swirls and interrogation mounts, Mahindan fears the desperate actions he took to survive and escape Sri Lanka now jeopardize his and his son’s chances for asylum.
Told through the alternating perspectives of Mahindan; his lawyer Priya, who reluctantly represents the migrants; and Grace, a third-generation Japanese-Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan’s fate, The Boat People is a high-stakes novel that offers a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis. Inspired by real events, with vivid scenes that move between the eerie beauty of northern Sri Lanka and combative refugee hearings in Vancouver, where life and death decisions are made, Sharon Bala’s stunning debut is an unforgettable and necessary story for our times.
About Dal Reads:
Dal Reads is designed to encourage people in the Dalhousie community to share their love of books. Launched in 2009, the program brings the Dalhousie community together through the shared experience of reading the same book and taking part in programming related to the book.