American War

The dystopia of American War may have felt a little too pointed a year ago. Now? It reads as an eerily prescient look into America’s future. The novel follows a woman named Sarat in the wake of a second American Civil War. El Akkad brilliantly blends US history with an imagined mythology of this second war as Sarat moves from her family’s homestead, to a refugee camp, and finally to the world outside its fences. Along the way, she has the opportunity to engage with big questions about radicalization, the environment, violence, politics, and humanity. Amazingly, the book isn’t too heavy—El Akkad managed to put real joy in these pages too.

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