Glorious Boy

What will it take to save Ty? This is the question that haunts Claire and Shep Durant in the wake of their four-year-old’s disappearance. Until this moment, Port Blair’s British surgeon and his young wife, a promising anthropologist, have led a charmed life in the colonial backwaters of India’s Andaman Islands—thanks in part to Naila, a local girl who shares their mysteriously mute son’s silent language. But with the war closing in and mandatory evacuation underway, the Durants don’t realize until too late that Naila and Ty have vanished. While Claire sails for Calcutta, Shep stays to search for the children. Days later, the Japanese invade the Andamans, cutting off all communication. Fueled by guilt and anguish, Claire uses her unique knowledge of the islands’ tribes to make herself indispensable to an all-male reconnaissance team headed back behind enemy lines. Her secret plan: rescue Shep and Ty. Through the brutal odyssey that follows, she’ll discover truths about sacrifice that both shatter and transcend her understanding of devotion.



“The most memorable and original novel I’ve read in ages. Aimee Liu… evokes every side in a multi-cultural conversation with sympathy and rare understanding.”—Pico Iyer

“Reminiscent of the tone and atmosphere of Somerset Maugham and George Orwell’s Asia-set novels, Glorious Boy is a Second World War story of adventure and loss, uniquely set in the Andaman Islands, one of India’s farthest flung territories”—Asian Review of Books

“An absolutely gorgeous historical novel about ambition, culture clash, love, atonement, and one silent boy, set against the backdrop of a tribe in the Andamans struggling with British rule. So blisteringly alive, you feel the swampy heat and the bugs; so emotionally true, it grips at every page. Just magnificent and not to be missed.”—Caroline Leavitt New York Times Bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World


A photograph of a beach at sunset and a boys face at the center with white script that reads Glorious Boy a novel by Aimee Liu.

Aimee Liu ( Author Website )

Publication Date: May 12, 2020

Genre/Imprint: Fiction, Red Hen Press

$18.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-889-2


Aimee Liu’s GLORIOUS BOY featured on Business Insider’s list of books to make you cry!

“When looking for your next great read, it’s easy to gravitate towards romance novels with happy endings or fantasy books with satisfying conclusions. But just as horror fans love a creepy-crawly feeling and sci-fi readers crave the chaos of a good dystopia, it can feel good to experience the raw emotions of a devastating story that makes you want to cry.” 

When Your Book Publishes In A Pandemic — Authors, Including Aimee Liu, Talk About Terrible Timing

Sarah Ramey’s first book was supposed to be a very big deal. Her publishers expected The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness to be a runaway best seller.”We had a huge publicity slate,” she says, a bit shyly. “You know, the Today show and CBS This Morning and, actually, NPR’s Weekend Edition.” The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah RameyAnchor But […]

Aimee Liu featured in the Los Angeles Times!

The second dose was supposed to be my reunion pass. Thanks to COVID-19, I couldn’t get back to Connecticut for my mother’s 100th birthday at Christmastime, but once we were both fully vaccinated, I’d feel safe to fly across the country. We’d hug for the first time since 2019. Read the full article here!

Hoopla: July Riveting Reads

Hoopla featured Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy on their list of Riveting Reads for July 2020. Find the entire list here.

Read Your Way Around the World

With travel plans cancelled for the foreseeable future, we’re all looking for new ways to feel transported from our homes, without putting our families at risk. That’s where these book duos come into play! With one title for adults and one for kids (ranging from books for younger children to YA for teens), each pair […]

Author2Author with Aimee Liu

Bill welcomes novelist, essayist, and teacher Aimee Liu to the show. Aimee is the author of numerous bestselling novels as well as nonfiction books on medical and psychological topics. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Ms., and many other publications. She is on the faculty of Goddard College’s MFA […]

The Booklist Reader: Glorious Boy

Liu’s eponymous “glorious boy” exists at the intersection of families, communities, countries, cultures—and, for a while, life and death. His spirited, adventurous parents—Shep, a British doctor obsessed with the healing power of indigenous plants, and American Claire, a would-be anthropologist without an official degree—arrive in 1936 in the remote Andaman Islands in India’s Bay of […]

Lithub: Finding My Story in the Colonial Past of the Andaman Islands

My new novel Glorious Boy began with a dream. On a tropical island during an emergency evacuation, a young girl was hiding in a dense rainforest with a small, mute white boy in her care. The girl, local to this island, knew the boy’s parents would not take her with them. She was hiding out of equal […]


GLORIOUS BOY by Aimee Liu reviewed by La viduité

Decode the savagery of silence, the language of separation and guilt, also deceive that of the enemy. A rather classic novel in its form, in its informed reconstruction of a little-known part of history (World War II in the Andaman Islands), The Magnificent Boy is a beautiful reflection on the links between men and how they escape language […]

A Point of Change

Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy gives readers a portrait of a young mother and fledgling anthropologist caught in a remote outpost in the midst of World War Two. Two of Liu’s three previous novels (Flash House, Cloud Mountain, and Face) were set in Asia, and all deal with themes of race, colonialism, and women strengthening their identities. Glorious Boy takes readers […]

Writers’ Voices: Aimee Liu Sets

In the South Asian archipelago known as the Andaman Islands, aboriginal tribes thrived for 60,000 years before the onset of British colonialism nearly wiped them out. Best selling novelist Aimee Liu struggled for years to set a book there, but got nowhere until she finally had the opportunity to visit the islands and learn of […]

Washington Independent Review of Books: Glorious Boy

Aimee Liu’s fourth novel, Glorious Boy — a family drama set against the backdrop of World War II and the rumblings of Indian independence from British colonialist rule — is big, ambitious, sometimes messy, and consistently stunning. This novel tugged at my heart in all the right ways. I got teary explaining to my husband why I’d […]

Historical Novel Society: Glorious Boy

1942: Clair and Shep Durant, along with their mute four-year-old son, Ty, wait for evacuation to India before the imminent Japanese invasion of the remote Andaman Islands. Shep, a doctor, and Claire, a budding anthropologist, scramble with last-minute tasks while Naila, the thirteen-year-old island girl who has taken on the role of nanny, tends to […]

Seattle Book Review: Glorious Boy

Bound by ambition and a sense of adventure, Claire and Shep Durant journey to the Andaman Islands, a remote part of colonial India, in 1936. They dive deep into their work: Claire, an anthropologist, is studying the language and customs of the Biya tribe; Shep, a surgeon, is collecting orchid specimens, hoping for significant medicinal […]

LARB: Wanting to Turn Back Time: On Aimee Liu’s “Glorious Boy”

ON THE FRONT COVER of Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy there is a palm-lined cove under a twilight sky. Unspoiled by modernity, this looks like island escapism, with no indication this is a story about wartime. Countless stories have already been told and retold about World War II, but here the setting is unusual — a colonial outpost […]

Asian Review of Books: Glorious Boy by Aimee Liu

Channeling some past classics also skeptical of the colonial enterprise, Glorious Boy stands out from the crowded shelves of World War II literature by immersing the reader in one of the remoter theatres of the Asian half of the War.

Library Journal: Glorious Boy starred review

Liu’s eponymous “glorious boy” exists at the intersection of families, communities, countries, cultures—and, for a while, life and death. His spirited, adventurous parents—Shep, a British doctor obsessed with the healing power of indigenous plants, and the American Claire, a would-be anthropologist without an official degree—arrive in 1936 in the remote Andaman Islands in India’s Bay […]