The focus of Paul Yoon’s debut collection, “Once the Shore,” is a single, fictional island in the South Pacific. The tales unfurl at a measured pace, the calculation never distracting from the vibrancy of the descriptions. “[Yoon] explores what is said between people and what is unspeakable, the ways people attempt to connect and the ways they disappoint one another, and the impact of the stories—and the lies—we tell ourselves, each other,” says The Rumpus. In lovely, sparse prose, Yoon portrays the lives of people torn between the old ways and the possibilities of the new. “Most of the collection’s characters move through events with a resignation or forbearance rare in contemporary fiction. ‘Once the Shore’ is the work of a large and quiet talent,” writes the New York Times. Yoon’s characters do not thrive on action but on the strength of the author’s insight, patience, and arresting descriptions.