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Maryland Author Foresees America’s Future
The current partisan crises in Washington over budget battles and dysfunctional government may be unsettling for many Americans, but for one Maryland resident they are more than just current politics. They are the first signs of the fulfillment of a frightening prophecy.
For author Beverly Garside, the vision began in 1998. “I could see the cracks widening in the U.S. along geographical as well as ideological lines,” she recalls. “And I wondered what would happen if we kept following this path to its logical conclusion.” The result of this imagining was a novel called “I and You” set in the United States of 2098.
“I and You” envisions a Disunited States consisting of a socialist majority separated by a theocracy of eight states in the South and a free market republic consisting of four states in the West. It is this western republic, founded upon the capitalist ideals of Ayn Rand, where the story unfolds. As a tribute to Rand’s novel “Anthem,” in which the pronoun “I” is banned by law, the citizens of this “Randian Republic of Atlantis” have forsaken the pronoun “we” for the ideologically correct “I and you.”
For the America of 1998, this vision proved a bit too far-fetched. “I think it was a little bit ahead of its time,” Garside concludes. But a lot of things happened in the ensuing years. “Now we have red states and blue states, we have petitions for secession springing up like mushrooms, and we have a caucus of Ayn Rand’s disciples disrupting the function of the Congress.” For Garside, the evening news was more than just alarming. “It’s all like a prequel to ‘I and You,’” she says.
In 2013 she partnered with Michigan artist Lucas Duimstra and reissued the novel in its current illustrated form. The heroine of “I and You,” Sara Storm, is a military officer. According to Garside, Sara is a true believer in the free market ideals of her country, which was created to embody a feature of Ayn Rand’s most famous work, “Atlas Shrugged,” in which capitalists go on strike and found their own community. “Sara tries to defend her country and hold onto her beliefs in the face of the realities of human nature, the tides of history, and the misfortune of falling in love with the wrong person,” she explains.
As for the future of America, Garside is apprehensive. “I hope I’m not a prophet,” she says.
“I and You” has received rave reviews:
"An impressive storyline that captures the reader's attention and holds it firmly from beginning to end, "I and You" is a graphic novel that is as entertaining, original, and thought-provoking, making it highly recommended reading." - Midwest Book Review
"A brave and massive tale from a solid pairing of talent - I can only hope another book is in conception." - Cate Baum, Self Publishing Review.
"I AND YOU is a sharp and vigorous political satire, well-drawn and reasonably deftly if unsubtly handled. As with most political satires, though, it will probably appeal primarily to those who agree with its perspective already." - Catherine Langehr, Indie Reader
I and You is available in print and ebook format.
I and You
By Beverly Garside
Illustrator: Lucas Duimstra
Genre: Dystopian Future, Romance, New Adult, Graphic Novel
About The Author:
Beverly Garside is a graduate of James Madison University and an author and screenwriter. Among her credits is the screenplay for the independent film "Sister Sonya's Prayer Group." A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, she served in Berlin during the 1980's. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband, Keith.
About the Artist
Lucas Duimstra is a self-taught illustrator from Grand Rapids, MI. Being the son of an artist, he was encouraged by his parents to explore creatively at an early age. When he was 4 years old he began teaching himself to draw by copying art from comic books and trading cards. For the past 3 years he has done freelance illustration and coloring work in comic book series and anthology collections. This is his first graphic novel.
For more information, review copies, or interviews please contact the author at: