Gish Jen’s new novel “The Resisters” is a heady mash-up of so many different literary genres that you keep waiting for it to fall flat on its many faces. It never does.
First, it is a cautionary, dystopian work about our near future. It is set in AutoAmerica. That “auto” reference is to Automation, which pretty much describes the novel’s milieu. The Autonet (often called “Aunt Nettie”) comes complete with electronic scrutiny. (“Alexa,” anyone?) It is Jen’s version of Orwell’s “Big Brother.”