The Resisters: a Conversation with Gish Jen

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Join us for a conversation with Gish Jen, author and Scarsdale High School Alumnae, class of '73.


"The Resisters is palpably loving, smart, funny, and desperately unsettling. The novel should be required reading for the country both as a cautionary tale and because it is a stone-cold masterpiece. This is Gish Jen's moment. She has pitched a perfect game." --Ann Patchett

The time: not so long from now. The place: AutoAmerica, a country surveilled by one "Aunt Nettie," a Big Brother that is part artificial intelligence, part internet, and oddly human--even funny. The people: divided. The "angel-fair" Netted have jobs, and, what with the country half underwater, literally occupy the high ground. The Surplus live on swampland if they're lucky, on water if they're not.

The story: to a Surplus couple--he once a professor, she still a lawyer--is born a girl with a golden arm. At two, Gwen is hurling her stuffed animals from the crib; by ten, she can hit whatever target she likes. Her teenage years find her happily playing in an underground baseball league. When AutoAmerica faces ChinRussia in the Olympics, though, Gwen attracts interest. Soon she finds herself in dangerous territory, playing ball with the Netted even as her mother battles this apartheid-like society in court.

Provocative, moving, and yet paradoxically buoyant, The Resisters is the story of one family struggling to maintain their humanity in circumstances that threaten their every value--indeed, their very existence. It is Gish Jen at her most irresistible, her most insightful, and her most electrifying.


GISH JEN is the author of four previous novels, a story collection, and two works of nonfiction. Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for fiction and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She delivered the William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in American Studies at Harvard University. She teaches from time to time in China and otherwise lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Bronx River Books has bookplated copies of The Resisters available for sale, order here.

The book is also available via our catalog, The Cloud and Libby/Overdrive. 

You will receive an email with the Zoom link approximately one hour before the start of this program.  

We look forward to seeing you!