The All-American: A Novel

Joe Milan

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Belletristik/Erzählende Literatur


A debut novel grappling with contested American identity, masculinity, and deportation, told in one of the most memorable adolescent voices in contemporary literature.

In rural Washington State, Bucky, a Korean American high school senior, trains hard to pursue his only ambition: to play college football. But when the US government deports him to South Korea, he finds himself alone in a country where he can’t speak the language (he can’t even pronounce his “paper name,” Yi Beyonghak), is conscripted to the army, and is obligated to pay off the debts of his long-missing bio-father.

From a hostel and expat bar in Seoul; to rural South Korea, where his bio-father is drowning in alcohol; to a remote island where a crazed sergeant still fights a bitter war with North Korean enemies, Beyonghak battles a morass of bureaucracy and betrayal in order to find his way home. Along the way, he must face down essential questions about who he is to others, and the type of man he wants to become.