What others are saying about this debut novel
“Twenty years after a secret encounter during the Vietnam War, two veterans, one American and the other Vietnamese, come to terms with a long-brewing conflict as shrimp fishermen on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After one of them drowns, their families are drawn into the details of these men and their interconnected pasts. With a knack for historical details, Alexander Blevens takes readers deep into the thoughts and actions of lives tortured by alcoholism, theft, and murder as they search for reconciliation and forgiveness.”—Valerie Winn, author of The Dance Between and Forsaking Mimosa.
“With Bycatch, Alexander Blevens joins the ranks of outstanding Mississippi writers.”—Cecil George Brown, author of D’Leaux, Mississippi-From Moss to Tuckertown.
“In his novel, Bycatch, Alexander Blevens, a skilled storyteller, flawlessly blends the sagas of two families connected by secrets and greed. He evokes the mood of both Vietnam and Coastal Mississippi as he explores how “the sins of the father” impact the lives of his sons. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read.”—Susan Skaggs, Librarian, Port Angeles, Washington
“Is it enough to forgive someone and stay silent? Must one accept an apology from another before one can forgive? These words from the widow of a murdered man go to the heart of a well-told tale about the nature of forgiveness, a story about a clash of cultures and consciences. When Don Nguyen escaped war-ravaged Vietnam with his wife and small daughter, he carried with him the burden of a shameful secret. Could Don have prevented his own death two decades later in Biloxi if he had only voiced his forgiveness to the father of his murderers? With well-drawn characters, author Alexander Blevens brings us from war-torn Vietnam into the hard world of Mississippi Gulf Coast shrimpers and makes us question our own abilities to forgive.”—Barbara Jones, author of Moonlight Bowl Manifesto
“The novel is readable and artfully plotted with captivating prose and no wasted words. It’s a story about a Vietnamese refugee, Don Nuygen, and his family, who escaped to Biloxi, MS after the Vietnam War ended. Nguyen and an American soldier, Rex Thompson, cross paths by chance in Vietnam and on the Gulf Coast in unexpected and tragic ways. Bycatch is a sensitive, realistic treatment of the struggle to bring forgiveness into the lives of all concerned and is well worth the read. I received an advance copy of Bycatch for review.”—Scott Lenoir, editor of The Mississippi Episcopalian