“This compelling debut novel, which won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, dramatically examines the insidious role unrestrained technology plays in the moral and ethical corruption of people, institutions, and government . . . This is an excellent story, well told, suspenseful, and tragic.” —Publishers Weekly
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. And West Is West is a politically and socially charged book whose author 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 . . . This writer can write; these characters are real; the story is crackerjack.” —Barbara Kingsolver
“I’m impressed by the power of Ron Childress’s voice and the accuracy with which he describes human behavior. He’s an intelligent and gifted writer who doesn’t show off--he knows how to tell a story that you won’t forget.” —Terry McMillan