American War

American War is Omar El Akkad's debut novel.

Omar El Akkad

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky.

And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war.

Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war as one of the Miraculous Generation and now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past — his family's role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others. (From McClelland & Stewart)

From the book

The sun broke through a pilgrimage of clouds and cast its unblinking eye upon the Mississippi Sea. 

The coastal waters were brown and still. the sea's mouth opened wide over ruined marshland, and every year grew wider, the water picking away at the silt and sand and clay, until the old riverside plantations and plastics factories and marine railways became unstable. Before the buildings slid into the water for good, they were stripped of their usable parts by the delta's last holdout residents. The water swallowed the land. To the southeast, the once glorious city of New Orleans became a well within the walls of its levees. The baptismal rights of a new America. 

From American War by Omar El Akkad ©2017. Published by McClelland & Stewart. 

Author interviews

The former Globe foreign correspondent on his debut novel, set in a future America devastated by war and plague. 3:54