And West Is West (Hardcover)

By Ron Childress

Algonquin Books, 9781616205232, 320pp.

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

November 2015 Indie Next List

“Ethan is a young Wall Street quant who writes an algorithm that allows his company to profit from the financial upheaval caused by antiterrorist strikes. Jessica is a young Air Force drone pilot who is discharged because she has discussed a questionable UAV strike in a letter to her father. This book is a powerful wake-up call to understand how fear, greed, and war inform our technological advances. Childress has truly earned his PEN/Bellweather Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.”
— Karen Tallant (M), The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
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Description

Winner of the prestigious PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, And West Is West is an inspired novel about two young people who learn, the hard way, about the devastating power of new technology to isolate us from the consequences of our actions.

When Jessica, a young Air Force drone pilot in Nevada, is tasked with launching a missile against a suspected terrorist halfway across the world, she realizes that though women and children are in the crosshairs of her screen, she has no choice but to follow orders. Ethan, a young Wall Street quant, is involved in a more bloodless connection to war when he develops an algorithm that enables his company's clients to profit by exploiting the international financial instability caused by exactly this kind of antiterrorist strike. These two are only minor players, but their actions have global implications that tear lives apart--including their own. When Jessica finds herself discharged from the service and Ethan makes an error that costs him his job, both find themselves adrift, cast out by a corrupt system and forced to take the blame for decisions they did not make.

In And West Is West, Ron Childress has crafted a powerful, politically charged, and terrifyingly real scenario that takes readers into the lives of characters living in different worlds yet bound together by forces beyond their control.
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