After suffering a childhood “accident” involving a campfire and a bullet, Jason Han spends his childhood being cared for by a doctor in Princeton, NJ while the rest of his family lives in a factory town near Scranton, PA. Years later, as they prepare for college, Jason and his older brother, Tommy, reluctantly work together to investigate their father’s suicide.
Ultimately, the investigation concludes violently, and the brothers move to Pittsburgh where they attempt to cohabitate peacefully while working to settle their father’s complicated estate. Together, they explore the city once described as “hell with the lid off,” full of post-industrial landscapes and sultry coeds. The brothers also travel landscapes of guilt, betrayal, and secrets as they try to figure out what destroyed their family—and how to save what’s left of it.
Eighty Days of Sunlight is Robert Yune’s debut novel, a poignant coming-of-age tale that brilliantly tackles the prickly relationship between two brothers, exploring themes of trust, identity, and loss.
About the Author
Robert Yune works in a Gothic cathedral skyscraper in a city that receives eighty days of sunlight a year. As a Navy brat, Robert Yune moved 11 times by the time he turned 18. In 2008, he received a writing fellowship through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award and was one of five finalists for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Yune teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. During the summers, he has worked as a stand-in for George Takei and appeared as an extra in films such as Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and the forthcoming Fathers and Daughters.
We are nominating Eighty Days of Sunlight because of the complex and heartfelt – but never sentimental – way it deals with difficult subjects like suicide, race and labour issues.