Now available! debut stories by Dan Lopez

Lambda Literary Finalist

LGBT Debut Fiction



paperback, $14

Also available in digital formats @ $6.99

Part the Hawser,

Limn the Sea

by Dan Lopez

Five fascinating tales linked by the sea. An aging architect must decide to give up his grief, even if it means losing the vestiges of a lover’s memory. An object of erotic fixation galvanizes men against the isolation of exile on a cruise liner. As he watches the disintegration of his picket-fence fantasy, an ex-soldier looks to the sea for absolution.

By turns urban and remote, the emotional landscapes navigated in this stunning debut collection offer a bold new meditation on love, loss, and isolation in our precarious present, and make visceral for us the duality of risk and salvation that attend our most passionate attachments.




About the author

Dan Lopez lives in San Francisco. His work has appeared in The Collagist, Storychord, Mary Literary, Time Out New York, and Lambda Literary, among others.


Praise for Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea


“In these stories, it isn’t necessarily the big events that are the most revelatory: it’s the glance, the nod, the two men sitting on a boat while ‘neither of them was making an attempt at conversation.’ Dan Lopez peoples his sea narratives with gay men, both white and of color, and in doing so reexamines the genre, not unlike Annie’s Proulx’s reexamination of the cowboy narrative in Brokeback Mountain. An impressive collection.”

—Ken Harvey, Lambda Literary

Don't be deceived by its diminutive size. Dan Lopez's just released debut story collection Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea is a powerhouse of literary dexterity. There are five stories collected here, and all are linked by the sea, the seduction of water and tide, and the release of waves and surf. It takes immense skill and intuitive finesse to formulate such characterization and story development in the span of just a few pages. There is not a word wasted or a false note throughout this 60-page slice of gay fiction. Lopez demonstrates an artistry not often found in a debut collection; there is cohesion, passion, and searing pain in his writing.”
—Jim Piechota, Bay Area Reporter

“Lopez’s writing style and skill of composing prose is nothing short of masterful, making it impossible to believe that this is his debut anthology. The storylines are rather simplistic, yet the characters are so complex the reader feels an intensity seldom achieved with short stories. These stories reach deep into the reader’s heart and embrace that part of him/her that understands despair.”
—Alan Chin, A Passage to Now

“While the setting doesn’t define these stories, the sea maintains a constant presence. It is both serene and treacherous. And the characters of these stories are too distracted with their own intimacies to notice it. Each story is so delicately layered with tension that it’s worth multiple reads.”
—Jonathan Harper, Chelsea Station

“These stories are unique and powerful in their simplicity, and I found this to be an impressive collection I couldn’t stop thinking about once finished. “
—Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print

“As small as a book as this is, it packs a huge wallop. It is not only the sea that unites these stories—there is tragedy and a sense of intimacy that is both personal and real.”
—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen

“A beach, a cruise, a fishing trip, a merchant marine's secret—these fascinating stories are linked by the sea. Lopez finds a discursive beauty in life's in-between  moments and side-lined characters. His admirable vision is oblique, restless and touched by sadness like light reflected off water.”

—David McConnell, author of The Silver Hearted

“With remarkable clarity, Dan Lopez brings together an unforgettable collection of shaken, drifting characters.  These heartbreaking stories reveal themselves unexpectedly, like hearing back from a note you stuffed in a bottle and tossed blindly out into the sea.”

—Lee Houck, author of Yield

“To debut with a collection drenched in mastery, skill and style is quite rare. Dan Lopez achieves this with Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea. His characters are fiercely human, linked by the universal thread of water. Some are battling currents. Others drift. And a few, simply watch the waves curl and stretch. Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea is a complete treasure. Be sure to discover it for yourself.”

—Michael Graves, author of Dirty One

Click camera to download author photo

Click camera to download high res cover image