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How Omar El Akkad's war reporting informed his award-winning novel

By Kobo • January 17, 2019Kobo in Conversation Podcast

"In war time you don't hear the voices of the displaced of people who've lost family members, of people who've lost their homes."

Our guest is an award-winning journalist and the author of American War, winner of the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction and a CBC Canada Reads 2018 nominee. Learn how Omar's experiences in the field informed his debut novel about a second US Civil War.

American War by 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.

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