A deeply human portrait of a family in the not-so-distant automated future, and the author’s first novel in ten years!
by Gish Jen
Knopf, Spring 2020
Gwen Cannon-Chastanet has a Golden Arm. Her parents first noticed it when piles of Gwen’s stuffed animals began accumulating at the bottom of their 3-D printed staircase—little Gwen having hurled them from her crib upstairs. And though their automated house implored Gwen’s parents to let it clear-float the “mess” from the floor, Grant and Eleanor savor every chance they get to play with their child—that’s one job the robots can’t take from them. In AutoAmerica, “play” is rare if not altogether suspicious; your role is either to Produce or to Consume, and digital tyrant Aunt Nettie is watching. When Gwen’s undeniable talent makes her the ultimate commodity for Team AutoAmerica, the family must grapple with whether they are protecting her or holding her back. At once terrifying and strangely buoyant, THE RESISTERS is a powerful exploration of what it means to be a parent, and the timeless struggle of how to protect the people we love even as we respect their freedom to choose.
Gish Jen is the author of seven books and has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other magazines. Her work has appeared in “The Best American Short Stories” four times, including “The Best American Short Stories of the Century”, edited by John Updike. Nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Jen’s work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel, and is widely taught.