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“I think this book could really save the world,” said Ann Patchett of Gish Jen’s new dystopian novel The Resisters. This extraordinary story imagines a not-so-distant future of America—which she calls “AutoAmerica” and is half underwater and populated by two groups of people: the “Netted” of the higher ground and the “Surplus,” who live on swampland. A “Surplus” family’s home life is upended when their teen daughter with amazing baseball talents is allowed to play ball with the “Netted” in the hopes that their Olympic team will beat ChinRussia. Exploring how America’s favorite pastime collides with a very divided totalitarian society, this highly plausible, yet totally unsettling future brings into question the moral fabric of America as we know it today. Jen, the award-winning author of four previous novels, a story collection, and two works of nonfiction, the latest of which was The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap, will discuss her new book that takes on the all-too-real threats against maintaining our humanity.

Gish Jen

Gish Jen has published short work in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals, anthologies and textbooks. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.  Nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award, her work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel and is widely taught. Her newest novel, The Resisters, is her eighth book.


Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His other books are bestselling short story collection The Refugees, is the edited anthology The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee LivesNothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Recently he has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, and is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.


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