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February 19, 2020 • 7:30 pm PST
In conversation with Viet Thanh Nguyen
“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.
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