Book picks similar to
After Dachau by Daniel Quinn


fiction
science-fiction
philosophy
dystopia

American War


Omar El Akkad - 2017
    But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.

The Plot Against America


Philip Roth - 2004
    In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh's election is the first in a series of ruptures that threatens to destroy his small, safe corner of America - and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.(back cover)

V for Vendetta


Steve Moore - 1989
    Imagine a Britain stripped of democracy, a world of the not-too-distant future, in which freedom was not lost but surrendered willingly to a totalitarian regime that rose to power by exploiting the people's worst fears and most damning weaknesses. This is the setting for the parable of Evey, a young woman saved from death by a masked man calling himself V. Beguiling and dangerous, V ignites the fuse of revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to shed the blanket of tyranny and oppression they have permitted themselves to be cloaked in. While those in power take steps to neutralize the threat, police pursue the mystery of V, unaware of the terrible truth that awaits them. But it is Evey who, with V as her enigmatic guide, sets out on the painful path of deception and self-discovery, deconstruction and re-creation, vindication and vengeance.

Terra Nullius


Claire G. Coleman - 2017
    There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history.

God Is Dead


Ron Currie Jr. - 2007
    In Ron Currie's provocative, wise, and emotionally resonant novel we meet God himself; the Dinka woman whose mortality He must suffer when He inhabits her body; people all over the world coping with the devastating news of God's demise; a group of young men who, fearing the end of the world, take fate into their own hands; mental patients who insist that a god still exists; armies taking up the eternal war between fate and free will; and parents who, in the absence of a deity and the “lack of anything to do on Sundays,” worship their children. On the surface, this is a world utterly transformed—yet certain things remain unchanged: protective parents clash with willful, idealistic teenagers; idols are exalted; small-town rumor mills run unabated; and children often don't realize how to forgive their parents until it's too late.In God Is Dead, Currie brings together a prescient satirical gift worthy of Jonathan Swift, the raw appeal of Chuck Palahniuk's blackest comedy, and the thought-provoking ethical questions of Kurt Vonnegut, all with a light touch, empathy, and wisdom that make for an exhilarating reading experience. Offbeat yet accessible, God Is Dead is an exciting debut from a fresh new voice in contemporary fiction.

The Mirage


Matt Ruff - 2012
    They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers.The United Arab States declares a War on Terror. Arabian and Persian troops invade the Eastern Seaboard and establish a Green Zone in Washington, D.C. . . .Summer, 2009: Arab Homeland Security agent Mustafa al Baghdadi interrogates a captured suicide bomber. The prisoner claims that the world they are living in is a mirage--in the real world, America is a superpower, and the Arab states are just a collection of "backward third-world countries." A search of the bomber's apartment turns up a copy of "The New York Times," dated September 12, 2001, that appears to support his claim. Other captured terrorists have been telling the same story. The president wants answers, but Mustafa soon discovers he's not the only interested party.The gangster Saddam Hussein is conducting his own investigation. And the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee--a war hero named Osama bin Laden--will stop at nothing to hide the truth. As Mustafa and his colleagues venture deeper into the unsettling world of terrorism, politics, and espionage, they are confronted with questions without any rational answers, and the terrifying possibility that their world is not what it seems.Acclaimed novelist Matt Ruff has created a shadow world that is eerily recognizable but, at the same time, almost unimaginable. Gripping, subversive, and unexpectedly moving, "The Mirage" probes our deepest convictions and most arresting fears.

The Great Glass Sea


Josh Weil - 2014
    Living on their uncle’s farm after the death of their father, the boys once spent their days helping farmers in collective fields, their nights spellbound by their uncle’s mythic tales. Years later, the two men labor side by side at the Oranzheria, a sea of glass—the largest greenhouse in the world—that sprawls over acres of cropland. Lit by space mirrors orbiting above, it ensnares the denizens of Petroplavilsk in perpetual daylight and constant productivity, leaving the twins with only work in common—stalwart Yarik married with children, oppressed by the burden of responsibility; dreamer Dima living alone with his mother and rooster, wistfully planning the brothers’ return to their uncle’s land.But an encounter with the Oranzerhia’s billionaire owner changes their lives forever. Dima drifts into a laborless life of bare subsistence while Yarik begins a head-spinning ascent from promotion to promotion until both men become poster boys for opposing ideologies, pawns at the center of conspiracies and deceptions that threaten to destroy not only the lives of those they love but the very love that has bonded the brothers since birth. This is a breathtakingly ambitious novel of love, loss, and light, set amid a bold vision of an alternative present-day Russia.

Underground Airlines


Ben H. Winters - 2016
    He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself. As he works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines, tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won't reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw's case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child--who may be Victor's salvation. Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.

Arc d'X


Steve Erickson - 1993
    Thomas Jefferson's love for, and enslavement of, his mistress, Sally Hemings, forms the center of an exploration of the American spirit.

A Man Lies Dreaming


Lavie Tidhar - 2014
    His name is Shomer, and before the war he was a pulp fiction author. Now, to escape the brutal reality of life in Auschwitz, Shomer spends his nights imagining another world - a world where a disgraced former dictator now known only as Wolf ekes out a miserable existence as a low-rent PI in London's grimiest streets.An extraordinary story of revenge and redemption, A Man Lies Dreaming is the unforgettable testament to the power of imagination.

Any Day Now


Terry Bisson - 2012
    This road movie of a novel, which begins as a fifties coming-of-age story and ends in an isolated hippy commune under threat of revolution, provides a transcendent commentary on America then and now.

Splinterlands


John Feffer - 2016
    The European Union has broken apart. Multiethnic great powers like Russia and China have shriveled. America's global military footprint has virtually disappeared and the United States remains united in name only. Nationalism has proven the century's most enduring force as ever-rising global temperatures have supercharged each-against-all competition and conflict among the now 300-plus members of an increasingly feeble United Nations.As he navigates the world of 2050, Julian West offers a roadmap for the path we're already on, a chronicle of impending disaster, and a faint light of hope. He may be humanity's last best chance to explain how the world unraveled—if he can survive the savage beauty of the Splinterlands.John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. In 2012–2013, he was also an Open Society Fellow looking at the transformations that have taken place in Eastern Europe since 1989. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. He has also produced six plays, including three one-man shows, and published a novel.

Blonde Roots


Bernardine Evaristo - 2008
    What if the history of the transatlantic slave trade had been reversed and Africans had enslaved Europeans? How would that have changed the ways that people justified their inhuman behavior? How would it inform our cultural attitudes and the insidious racism that still lingers today? We see this tragicomic world turned upside down through the eyes of Doris, an Englishwoman enslaved and taken to the New World, movingly recounting experiences of tremendous hardship and the dreams of the people she has left behind, all while journeying toward an escape into freedom.

American Woman


Susan Choi - 2003
    The New Yorker called it "an auspicious debut," and the Los Angeles Times touted it as "a novel of extraordinary sensibility and transforming strangeness," naming it one of the ten best books of the year. American Woman, this gifted writer's second book, is a novel of even greater scope and dramatic complexity, about a young Japanese-American radical caught in the militant underground of the mid-1970s.When 25-year-old Jenny Shimada steps out of the Rhinecliff train station in New York's Hudson Valley, the last person she expects to see is Rob Frazer, a shadowy figure from her previous life. On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, Jenny agrees to take on the job of caring for three younger fugitives whom Frazer has spirited out of California. One of them, the granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity. Kidnapped by a homegrown revolutionary group, Pauline shocked America when she embraced her captors' ideology, denouncing family and class to enlist in their radical cell.American Woman unfolds the story of Jenny and her charges -- Pauline, Juan, and Yvonne, the remains of the busted revolutionary cadre -- as they pursue their destinies from an old farmhouse in upstate New York back to California. Provocative, suspenseful, and often wickedly comic, the novel explores the psychology of the young radicals -- outsiders all -- as isolation and paranoia inevitably undermine their ideals. American Woman is a tour de force with chilling resonance for readers today.

The Testament


Elie Wiesel - 1980
    In this remarkable blend of history and imagination, Paltiel Kossover meets the same fate but, unlike his real-life counterparts, he is permitted to leave a written testament. From a Jewish boyhood in pre-revolutionary Russia, Paltiel traveled down a road that embraced Communism, only to return to Russia and discover a Communist Party that had become his mortal enemy. Two decades later, Paltiel's son, Grisha, reads this precious record of his father's life and finds that it illuminates the shadowed planes of his own. Passionate and fierce, this story of a father's legacy to his son revisits some of the most dramatic events of our century, and confirms yet again Elie Wiesel's stature as "a writer of the highest moral imagination" ("San Francisco Chronicle").