Mauro Javier Cárdenas with Rikki Ducornet — American Abductions

In American Abductions, Cárdenas' deconstruction of American society and the surveillance state proves his generation-defining acuity and storytelling.

Third Place Books is proud to welcome Mauro Javier Cárdenas—author of Aphasia and The Revolutionaries Try Again—for a discussion of his highly-anticipated novel, American Abductions, with Port Townsend transdisciplinary artist and author Rikki Ducornet. This event is free and open to the public.

For important updates, RSVP is recommended in advance. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

Having trouble accessing Eventbrite? Click here.


Event RSVP icon

Tickets available now

for this in-person event


About American Abductions. . .

Torrential and dreamlike, Mauro Javier Cárdenas’ novel unfurls into a layered, poignant, and unflinching portrait of how family separations have impacted the minds of Latin American deportees in a technology-bound 21st century.

American Abductions opens in a near-future United States whose omnipresence of data-harvesting and algorithms has enabled the mass incarceration and deportation of Latin Americans—regardless of citizenship. After their father is abducted by immigration officials before their eyes and deported to Colombia, Ada and her sister Eva are left to contend with a United States as all-seeing as it is hostile. Now adults, Ada 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 the United States’ 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 American expectations on how Latin American deportees should tell their stories, 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 the surveillance 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 Delany. The result is a sharp and metaphysical narrative, a masterwork examining the place of Latin Americans in a United States that is always changing.


Praise for American Abductions. . .

“Mauro Javier Cárdenas has knocked down the novel as we know it, and built a cathedral out of the debris.” 
Carlos Fonseca
, author of Natural History: A Novel

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.

Rikki Ducornet is a transdisciplinary artist. Her work is animated by an interest in nature, Eros, tyranny and the transcendent capacities of the creative imagination. She is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, and artist, and her fiction has been translated into fifteen languages. Her art has been exhibited internationally, most recently with Amnesty International’s traveling exhibit I Welcome, focused on the refugee crisis. She has received numerous fellowships and awards including an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bard College Arts and Letters Award, the Prix Guerlain, a Critics’ Choice Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. Her novel The Jade Cabinet was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

For media inquiries, access inquiries, or questions about our Covid-19 policies, please email or call our Lake Forest Park store at (206) 366-3311.