7 things to read, watch and listen to if you loved American War
If you've read American War, here are seven books, films and albums you should also check out.
Read: The Mercy Journals by Claudia Casper
Claudia Clasper's novel takes readers to a third world war where an environmental apocalypse has left few survivors. A former soldier begins to doubt his moral code as he journeys deeper into this hostile setting to rescue his children, who are rumoured to be alive. The Mercy Journals won the 2016 Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished science fiction.
Read: Embassytown by China Miéville
Language is a colonial weapon in China Miéville's award-winning novel Embassytown. The way characters speak determines their rank in a complex society where humans coexist with Indigenous races. Things change when the Indigenous population learns to speak the way colonizers do and realizes the society has been ruling through a language built on lies.
Read: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The story of a double-agent navigating the aftermath of the Vietnam War won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The plot centres on a captain whose political loyalties begin to unravel along with his sense of identity once he becomes ensnared in the world of espionage.
Read: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
George Saunders's CivilWarLand in Bad Decline is a collection of six short stories and a novella that bizarrely imagines the future as one taken over by theme parks for the upper class while the poor are paraded as the main attractions.
As a film, Incendies unfolds as a human drama. The Canadian story, based on Wajdi Mouawad's similarly-titled play, uncovers a mother's radical past during a civil war between Christian nationalists and Muslims. As her children piece together this personal plot, they realize the family ties they shared are no longer what they once were. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for foreign language film in 2011.
Watch: Last Night
The apocalypse comes to Canada in director Don McKellar's Last Night. In this film, after people get over the initial chaos, a group of Toronto locals use the end times to either explore lifelong fantasies or continue their daily routine until time runs out. This low-key, human approach to the 'what if' situation was celebrated at the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival with the Award of the Youth, Foreign Film.
Listen: Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
What does doom sound like? The Canadian group Godspeed You! Black Emperor offers Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! as an answer. The album, which won the 2013 Polaris Music Prize, uses stringed instruments to create a melancholic mood that would not be out of place in any of the fictional worlds listed above. Above listen to Their Helicopters Sing, the second song on their album.