Ron Childress

And West Is West

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This PEN/Bellwether Prize–winning novel of drone strikes and corruption is “a calculated nail-biter that shines a dark light on life in the 21st century” (The Washington Post).
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 from the financial fluctuations caused by exactly this kind of antiterrorist strike.
Jessica and Ethan may only be minor players, but their actions have global implications that tear lives apart—including their own. In his politically and socially charged debut novel, Ron Childress has crafted a terrifyingly real scenario.
“Impressive and keenly relevant to our time. And West Is West moves seamlessly between drone strikes and high-speed trading on Wall Street. I devoured it in forty-eight hours, and during the hours I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I still am.” —Barbara Kingsolver
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349 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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