6 x 9
Central to Wayne Karlin's novel Prisoners is the story of Kiet, a runaway teenage orphan from Vietnam who is seeking her Black father and whose flight impinges upon the lives of several other characters, many of them Vietnam War veterans. The drama of the interlinking stories illuminates the "seepage of history" and examines the "crimes of war and family and skin" in the Tidewater region in Maryland. Karlin unpeels their histories like an onion, layer after layer, until the violent climax, and a denouement that offers understanding, hope, and reconciliation.
"Karlin is one of the most gifted, passionate, and powerful writers of his generation." —George Garrett, in choosing Prisoners as one of the most notable books of 1998 in the Dictionary of Literary Biography
"As the novel weaves characters and their voices in and out and moves toward a shattering climax in which age-old sin and horror come to bear on contemporary life, the reader realizes that the story of a young girl's search for a lost father is really the story of the world America has created. It is a dark-laced nightmare vision that still, ironically, has room for salvation." —Multicultural Review
"Poetic, powerful fiction." —Mary Ann Carroll, Booklist