A bildungsroman for the anthropocene, Mobility follows Bunny, the daughter of a diplomat, from mostly-oblivious teendom in Azerbaijan to adulthood in Texas, where she falls into PR work for an oil company (but mostly for the clean energy side! she relentlessly protests). This novel masterfully grapples with an individual life amidst global geopolitics: the disconnect between the truths we acknowledge yet ignore, the seemingly small choices we make and the mind-boggling, earth-changing consequences that follow. I was hooked. — From Sam's favorites
Longlisted for the 2024 Joyce Carol Oates Prize
One of Powell's Best Books of 2023
One of TIME's Best Books of 2023
One of Vulture's Best Books of 2023
"A masterpiece of misdirection." --Geraldine Brooks
Bunny Glenn believes in climate change. But she also likes to get paid. The year is 1998. The Soviet Union is dissolved, the Cold War is over, and Bunny Glenn is a lonely American teenager in Azerbaijan with her Foreign Service family. Through Bunny's bemused eyes, we watch global interests flock to her temporary backyard for Caspian oil and pipeline access, hearing rumbles of the expansion of the American security state and the buildup to the War on Terror. We follow Bunny from adolescence to middle age--from Baku to Athens to Houston--as her own ambition and desire for comfort lead her to a career in the oil industry, eventually returning to the scene of her youth, where slippery figures from the past reappear in an era of political and climate breakdown. Propulsive and thought-provoking, empathetic yet pointed, Mobility is a story about class, power, politics, and desire told through the life of one woman--her social milieu, her romances, her unarticulated wants. Through Bunny's life choices, Lydia Kiesling masterfully explores American forms of complicity and inertia, moving between the local and the global, the personal and the political, and using fiction's singular power to illuminate a life shaped by its context.
About the Author
Lydia Kiesling is the author of The Golden State, a 2018 National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree, a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker online, and The Cut, among other outlets. She lives in Portland, Oregon.