The Epicenter: Sunil Yapa in Conversation with Marie Mockett

Co-presented by City Lights Books

This event is SOLD OUT, sorry!

“A symphony of a novel that showcases a raw and rare talent. In the contemporary tradition of Aleksandar Hemon and Philipp Meyer, with echoes of Michael Ondaatje and Arundhati Roy, Yapa strides forward with a literary molotov cocktail to light up the dark.” —Colum McCann

Litquake is proud to host the San Francisco launch of Sunil Yapa’s debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist. Yapa will be in conversation with writer Marie Mockett. Book sales and signing to follow.

The story is told by seven distinct and unforgettable characters—nineteen-year-old Victor, who hopes to sell antiglobalization demonstrators enough marijuana to buy a plane ticket elsewhere; his estranged father, the police chief; two police officers trying to control the crowd; the finance minister of Sri Lanka, who needs one final signature in order for his country to join the WTO; and two of the well-intentioned nonviolent protesters whose mission it is to ensure that doesn’t happen. What follows is the convergence of those seven narratives on one cold and explosive November day.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist takes on the world. The ideas of right and wrong, winning and losing, are challenged and blurred through the tumult of perspectives. As the fog of the morning burns off into chaos, each character struggles to retain his or her humanity. They are forced to come to terms with their fear and their power (or lack thereof), but it is their compassion that is tested most of all. This is a shattering meditation on the ways in which our lives overlap with lives lived halfway across the globe, one that builds to a heartbreaking finale. As Tiphanie Yanique writes, “This is an open armed love letter to humanity. A glorious novel.”