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Full of warmth, terror, and underhanded humor, If I Were the Ocean, I'd Carry You Home, Pete Hsu's debut story collection, captures the essence of surviving in a life set adrift. Children and young people navigate a world where the presence of violence and death rear themselves in everyday places: Vegas casinos, birthday parties, church services, and sunny days at the beach. Each story is a meditation on living in a world not made for us-the pervasive fear, the adaptations, the unexpected longings. A gripping and energetic debut, Hsu's writing beats with the naked rhythms of an unsettled human heart.