A Novel

John Keeble
Foreword by William Kittredge
Afterword by John Keeble

  • $24.95 paperback (9780295988450) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2008
  • Subject Listing: Literature / Fiction
  • Bibliographic information: 336 pp., 5 x 8 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

Wesley Erks, itinerant machinist and "high class jack-of-all-trades," takes a hefty fee for smuggling a group of illegal Chinese immigrants ("yellowfish") from Vancouver, B.C., to San Francisco in the 1970s. Three are teenaged "Hong Kong boys," one of whom has been grievously injured. The fourth, a fugitive and the son of a rich Chinese casino owner, means to settle a grudge with a Chinese American secret society, the Triad, but is himself being pursued. The tale of the perilous journey of these five men, along with a woman who becomes implicated in a double-cross, is filled with vivid fictional and historical characters. The whole of it conjures the story of the West itself.

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John Keeble is the author of four novels, including Yellowfish and Broken Ground, a collection of short stories, Nocturnal America, and a work of nonfiction, Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound.

"A novel of grandeur and daring, a book of fierce pleasures. Its themes are those that have occupied the great story-tellers from the beginning: the journey of self-discovery, danger and self reliance."
-Raymond Carver

"A complex, almost Faulknerian portrait of the Pacific Northwes-as beautiful and mysterious as the area itself. It is also a hell of a good read."
-James Welch

"Its surface is a stunning story of survival; its depth is the American journey to the West. They reflect each other, for Yellowfish is a new version of how the West was and is won by lost people. A bright vision of the morals of necessity, beautifully told."
-Mary Lee Settle

Foreword / William Kittredge


Postscript / John Keeble

Discussion Questions

"Suspenseful and full of danger."
-Multicultural Review

"A small classic of a Northwest novel . . . is revived in a striking new edition."
-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Yellowfish is solidly built and runs smoothly, but there's a depth to it that lifts it above the road trip / thriller trappings Keeble employs . . . [and is] prescient in its understanding of the importance of the Pacific Rim and timeless in its exploration of the borders between countries and people."
-The Oregonian

"The author restores the tired abstractions of great Western space and silence with fresh feelings of motion and flight. Both animals and men are hunted in this hard though never heartless book. The prey die with fierce dignity and the predators do not gloat."

"One golden book. A Western worthy of the name . . . yet mystical, timeless, universal."
-Chicago Sun Times

"John Keeble has written a thrilling book. . . . He has a fine ear for dialogue; all of his people live and breathe on the page; the men are wonderfully drawn, and the women-the women are superb. . . . I want you to read this book, cherish it, lend it to your friends."
-Carolyn Kizer, Northwest Review

"Along comes John Keeble, loaded with panache and talent. . . . Keeble has done nothing less than fashion a new way of looking at a region of the earth, a country and its people."
-Toronto Globe and Mail