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Fourteen-year-old Job Hammon ekes out an itinerant existence in the Pacific Northwest, in a not-too-distant future where China and other industrial economies have become primary world powers, and the United States has become a fractured, post-industrial wasteland. When Job learns that the mother he'd thought had died years before had actually left to seek work in Asia, he emigrates there in hopes of finding her and finding a better life. Set to a backdrop of such issues as immigration, industrialization, and climate displacement, East offers a harrowing and all-too-possible glimpse at a post-American diaspora struggling to find a new place in the world.
A Note From the Publisher
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9984657-6-0
"East isn't necessarily about America, which no longer exists, or a world with new codes. It is commentary about hustle and movement, in a future that attempts to curtail both. The prose, as we follow the boy Job, is not quiet. Neither does it growl. It's urgent though, on the move, like a young animal new to the earth."
-Deepak Unnikrishnan, author of Temporary People
"East's cli-fi futurescape is both sobering and gripping... If hope is not the point of the novel, its unflinching consideration of what might be ahead for human beings is."
"Fascinating, austere, and deeply humane. Kjeldsen's East is the story of an undocumented American immigrant in a near-future China, which is to say it's our world turned on its head, which is really to say: It's our world."
-Aaron Thier, author of Mr. Eternity and The World Is a Narrow Bridge
"What you can reliably expect from Kjeldsen is a keen imagination and fine writing... In East, he spins a mesmerizing story -- fantastic, yes, but so clearly rooted in the most palpable anxieties that characterize today's America that it feels eerily, chillingly prescient."
-New Jersey Star-Ledger
"East is a pitch-dark, beautifully written coming-of-age story that turns the American Dream trope inside out, as young Job flees the ravaged wastelands of the Pacific Coast and undergoes a dizzying, desperate journey to find salvation in China. The narrative is taut and gripping, the characters vivid and real, and the story breathtaking."
-Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters
"Kjeldsen does an excellent job of building Job's damaged world, drawing vivid scenes... the fast-paced plot will keep readers turning pages."
"East provides a powerful, hard-boiled narrative about a world where abundance is a fairy tale and migrants have to endure horror in order to work, travel, and find their loved ones. It is a dystopian future only because it is about Americans migrating to distant lands, but it speaks about us, today, since this is precisely the present that migrants face in the United States. Beyond nationalities, it is about the human determination to never stand still."
-Yuri Herrera, author of Signs Preceding the End of the World and Kingdom Cons
"Dystopian and disturbing, East concentrates the mind as well as the heart as it portrays a world in which the balance has shifted. A tale devoid of comfort but bristling with warning, it reaffirms Kjeldsen's stature as a crackerjack practitioner of the literary thriller."