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Omar El Akkad

Omar El Akkad is an award winning investigative journalist and novelist. He was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in Dohar, Qatar prior to moving to Canada. El Akkad is The Globe and Mail‘s Western United States reporter, based in Portland, Oregon. El Akkad is a graduate of Queen’s University.


American War

Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2017.
PS8609 .L25 A64 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war as one of the Miraculous Generation and now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past — his family’s role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others.

Awards and Honours

2018 CBC Canada Reads 2018 (Finalist)
2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award (Shortlist)


Omar El Akkad personal website

Publisher Penguin Random House Canada (publisher of the McClelland & Stewart imprint)