Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1982- ) Egyptian-born journalist and author, raised in Qatar, in Canada from the age of sixteen. His first novel, American War (2017), which is set in a Near Future Dystopian America ravaged by Climate Change and right-wing fundamentalism, distinguishes itself from thematic banality through its exceedingly vivid enactments of the costs of War, El Akkad's experiences as a correspondent in Afghanistan avowedly contributing to the immediacy of his "report" on the future. The book itself is cast as a twenty-second century memoir recounting its ostensible author's version of the role played by his aunt throughout the Second American Civil War (2074-2093) and after. America, by now partially submerged in rising seas, is divided into North and South; war has been ignited by the assassination of a president. But there is some hope as the narrator's aunt turns into something of a Superhero, though she begins on what most readers will think of as the wrong side: as part of a Southern rebellion against a ban on fossil fuels. Many goals are aimed at in American War, perhaps overambitiously in a tale which increasingly takes on the nature of a Young Adult tale of personal fulfilment; but the timeliness is evident. [JC]
Omar El Akkad
born Cairo, Egypt: 1982
- American War (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2017) [hb/nonpictorial]
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