The Book

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the lives of seven people will change forever: foremost among them police chief Bishop, the estranged father Victor hasn't seen in three years, two protestors struggling to stay true to their non-violent principles as the day descends into chaos, two police officers in the street, and the coolly elegant financial minister from Sri Lanka whose life, as well as his country's fate, hinges on getting through the angry crowd, out of jail, and to his meeting with the president of the United States.

In this raw and breathtaking novel, Yapa marries a deep rage with a deep humanity, and in doing so casts an unflinching eye on the nature and limits of compassion

“Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is visceral, horrifying, and often heroic. But above all, this book is a full-throated chorus of voices on all sides--protesters, cops, delegates, politicians, and ramblers--as democracy runs headlong into the machinery of global power. Sunil Yapa has achieved something special, a story that is as tragic as it is relevant, as unflinching as it is humane.”

-Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek


The Author

Sunil Yapa holds a bachelor's degree in economic geography from Penn State University and an MFA from Hunter College. The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including time in Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City.

“Sunil Yapa’s debut novel is possibly the most gorgeous book I’ve read in my entire life… Yapa’s pattern of meandering, artful, full-bodied imagery, punctuated by zingy one-liners makes for a seriously addictive read… It’s painful. It’s gorgeous. I can’t say this enough: read it.”

—E. CE Miller, Bustle