Boat People by James Eckardt
Boat People is a panoramic novel of greed and compassion, violence and family love, desperation and hope. It is September 1981, the high tide of boat people flight from Vietnam. From the Mekong Delta port of Rach Gia, one boat, crammed with fishermen, farmers, political refugees, and urban hustlers, runs a 300-mile gauntlet of pirates and storms for the safe haven of Songkhla Refugee Camp. Here the survivors meet the West in the form of religious idealists and burnt-out aid workers. Some boat people are drawn to black market gangs; others to public service or official corruption. Factions plot against each other and grapple for advantage.