Sunil Yapa holds a bachelor’s degree in economic geography from Penn State University and an MFA from Hunter College. The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, in Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is his first novel.
Sunil Yapa's debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, is a gripping novel that takes place over the course of one day, during the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle. The book follows seven characters and their different perspectives and roles during the protest. We're pleased to present you a short excerpt from Yapa's novel.
— Karissa Chen, Fiction & Poetry Editor
Asoka froze with her hands in her hair and a rubber hairband in her mouth. Just stood frozen like that in the act of tying back her hair as if caught in the flash of a photograph. She was staring at the back of his head where he sat slouched watching a football game. She had a strong urge to tell him he was going bald in a spot on top of his head that he couldn't see in the mirror.
"Then you’ll pull out a bunch of saris,” he went on. “And lay them on the bed like baskets of fruit. Apples, oranges, pears. You’ll look at them for god knows how long.”
A Sri Lankan immigrant’s poignant story of anguish and reconciliation is the winner of the 2010 Asian American Short Story Contest.