“Unlike any other story of war I've read, The Lotus Eaters sees the beauty amidst the destruction as only a story told through the eyes of a photographer can. It is at once a sweeping love story, a tragedy of humanity, and a fresh look at a war that transformed everything.”
— Julia Callahan, Book Soup, West Hollywood, CA
- 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.
“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