Ordinary Seaman by Francisco Goldman
The ordinary seaman is Esteban, a 19-year-old veteran of the war in Nicaragua who has come to America with fourteen other men to crew the boat 'Urus'. Docked on a desolate Brooklyn pier, the 'Urus' turns out to be a wreck, sitting idle without plumbing or electricity. Lacking the means to return to their native country or the ability to find other work, the fifteen men become prisoners on a ship that never moves.As Esteban works up the courage to escape into the city and create a new life, the novel reveals the stories he and the other men share: each man's past is shrouded in the residue of broken hopes, hearts and dreams, betrayal and defiance, and of haunting loves, ghostly and actual. Evoking the work of Joseph Conrad, The Ordinary Seaman traces the very real conflicts between native and foreign, traditional and modern, with a voice all of its own.