American Abductions

American Abductions

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By Mauro Javier Cardenas

ISBN: 9781628975185

Publication Date:  02/27/2024


After her father is abducted by immigration officials before her eyes and deported to Colombia, Ada and her sister are left in an America as all-seeing as it is hostile; torrential and dreamlike, Mauro Javier Cárdenas’ story unfurls into a layered, poignant, and unflinching portrait of racism and xenophobia.

American Abductions opens in a near-future America whose omnipresence of data-harvesting and algorithms has enabled the mass incarceration, and deportation of Latin Americans—regardless of citizenship. Now adults, Ava remains in San Francisco while Eva has joined their father in Colombia, tending him in his ailing health. When his condition worsens, Eva asks Ada to come see them: a nearly impossible feat, given America’s restrictions on Latin Americans’ movements. Ada, terribly alone, must come to terms with the violence of American society and the grief of lost community. Exploring the role of technology, mass society, and storytelling, the novel delves into the ties, memories, and lines of code binding communities together.

Mauro Javier Cárdenas has been lauded as one of the most promising Latin American authors, and in American Abductions, his deconstruction of American society and state proves his generation-defining acuity and storytelling. The book’s polyphony of mysticism, technology, and philosophy calls to mind the perceptive dystopian visions of Philip K. Dick and the visionary stylistic fluidity of Samuel Delaney. The result is a sharp and metaphysical cautionary narrative, a masterwork examining the place of Latin Americans in an America that is always changing.


Mauro Javier Cárdenas has knocked down the novel as we know it, and built a cathedral out of the debris.” – Carlos Fonseca

Biographical Information

Mauro Javier Cárdenas grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and graduated with a degree in Economics from Stanford University. He's the author of Aphasia (FSG, 2020) and The Revolutionaries Try Again (Coffee House Press, 2016). In 2016 he received a Joseph Henry Jackson Award and in 2017 the Hay Festival included him in Bogota 39, a selection of the best young Latin American novelists.