- Winner of UK's James Tait Black Prize
- New York Times Notable Book of 2010
- American Library Association 2011 Notable Book
- Finalist LA Times Book Award
- A Kirkus Reviews Top Debut Fiction of 2010
- Bookmarks Magazine Best Literary Fiction of 2010
In the final days of a falling Saigon, The Lotus Eaters unfolds the story of three remarkable photographers brought together under the impossible umbrella of war: Helen Adams, a once-naïve ingénue whose ambition conflicts with her desire over the course of the fighting; Linh, the mysterious Vietnamese man who loves her, but is torn between conflicting loyalties to his homeland and his heart; and Sam Darrow, a man addicted to the narcotic of violence, to his intoxicating affair with Helen and to the ever-increasing danger of his job. All three become transformed by the conflict they have risked everything to record.
In this much-heralded debut, Tatjana Soli creates a searing portrait of three souls trapped by their impossible passions, contrasting the wrenching horror of combat and the treachery of obsession with the redemptive power of love.
April 28, 1975
The city teetered in a dream state. Helen walked down the deserted street. The quiet was eerie. Time running out. A long-handled barber's razor, cradled in the nest of its strop, lay on the ground, the blade's metal grabbing the sun. Unable to resist, she leaned down to pick it up, afraid someone would split his foot open running across it. A crashing noise down the street distracted her--dogs overturning garbage cans--and she snatched blindly at the razor. Drawing her hand back, she saw a bright pinprick of blood swelling on her finger. She
"A haunting debut novel…quietly mesmerizing…" --Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Devastatingly awesome…It's one of those books that I didn't want to put down — I resented everything else that I needed to do in my life, because I didn't want to stop reading it.”-- Nancy Pearl, NPR
“35 years after the fall of Saigon, Soli’s entrancing debut brings you close enough to feel a part of it." --People
"A haunting world of war, betrayal, courage, obsession, and love." --Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried
"You must read The Lotus Eaters, Tatjana Soli’s beautiful and harrowing new novel. Its characters are unforgettable.” --Richard Russo, author of That Old Cape Magic
"The very steam from Vietnam's jungles seems to rise from the pages of Tatjana Soli's tremendously evocative debut…A beautiful book." --Janice Y. K. Lee, author of The Piano Teacher