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van den Berg, Laura

Entry updated 2 June 2020. Tagged: Author.

(1981-    ) US author some of whose fiction, assembled in What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves US (coll 2009) and The Isle of Youth (coll 2013), has fantastic content. She is of specific sf interest for her first novel, Find Me (2015), set in a Near Future America grappling ineffectively with the first genuinely transformative effects of Climate Change, including a new disease emanating from California. Beyond unpleasant physical symptoms, this affliction, which is highly contagious, causes total Amnesia in its victims (see Memory Edit). The plot resolves in Young Adult fashion – though in fact the tale is not primarily shaped for that market – around an immune teenager, incarcerated with others of her kind in a surreal Keep in Kansas. Her eventual escape from this immurement, in a quest for her lost mother, perhaps unrealistically shifts the focus of Find Me towards the family romance; but the extremity of her situation, and the devastation of the world around her, competently evoke Chris Adrian's The Children's Hospital (2006). [JC]

Laura van den Berg

born Florida, 1981

works

  • Find Me (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015) [hb/]
  • The Third Hotel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018) [hb/greattekat]

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