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About James Sullivan
James Sullivan was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. He graduated from Colby College and received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has written for the New York Times and National Geographic. He lives with his family outside Portland, Maine.
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Titles By James Sullivan
“A reflection on the nature of storytelling itself” (The Wall Street Journal), Unsinkable traces the individual journeys of five men on one ship from Casablanca in North Africa, to Sicily and Salerno in Italy and then on to Plunkett’s defining moment at Anzio, where a dozen-odd German bombers bore down on the ship in an assault so savage, so prolonged, and so deadly that one Navy commander was hard-pressed to think of another destroyer that had endured what Plunkett had. After a three-month overhaul and with a reputation rising as the “fightin’est ship” in the Navy, Plunkett (DD-431) plunged back into the war at Omaha Beach on D-Day, and again into battle during the invasion of Southern France—perhaps the only Navy ship to participate in every Allied invasion in the European theatre.
Featuring five incredibly brave men—the indomitable skipper, who will receive the Navy Cross; the gunnery officer, who bucks the captain every step of the way to Anzio; a first lieutenant, who’s desperate to get off the ship and into the Pacific; a seventeen-year-old water tender, who’s trying to hold onto his hometown girl against all odds, and another water tender, who mans a 20mm gun when under aerial assault—the dramatic story of each plays out on the decks of the Plunkett as the ship’s story escalates on the stage of the Mediterranean. Based on Navy logs, war diaries, action reports, letters, journals, memoirs, and dozens of interviews with the men who were on the ship and their families, Unsinkable is a timeless evocation of young men stepping up to the defining experience of their lives. “If you were moved by Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, by William Kent Krueger’s This Tender Land…by the values we hold dear, decency, sacrifice, steadfastness, then Unsinkable will take you to a place long dead in your soul, and flood it with light” (Doug Stanton, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Horse Soldiers).
“Cultures clash, but love conquers, with some fascinating twists and plenty of intimate details.” —Kirkus Reviews
James Sullivan's Over the Moat details his travels in Vietnam to bicycle from Saigon to Hanoi. He has just finished graduate school and has an assignment to write a magazine story about a country that is still subject to a U.S. trade embargo. But in Hue, the old imperial capital of Vietnam, the planned three-month bike trip in the fall of 1992 takes a detour.
Here, in a city spliced by the famed Perfume River and filled with French baroque villas, he finds himself bicycling over a moat to visit a beautiful shop girl who lives amid the ruins of the last imperial dynasty of Vietnam. She falls for him, but there's a catch. Several other suitors are vying for her hand, and one of them is an official with the city's police force. Over the Moat is the story of Sullivan's efforts to win Thuy's favor while immersing himself in Vietnamese culture, of kindly insinuating himself in Thuy's colorful and warm family, and of learning how to create a common language based on love and understanding.