Lives Less Valuable

Putting corporate disregard for ecology on trial, this novel follows Vexcorp, a wealthy corporation that, at a safe distance, counts both the lives of others and the health of the environment as expenses on a balance sheet.

At the heart of a city, a river is dying, children have cancer, and people are burning with despair. From the safe distance that wealth buys, a corporation called Vexcorp counts these lives as another expense on a balance sheet. But that distance is about to collapse.
Malia is an activist who has fiercely fought the everyday atrocities of environmental racism. After years of watching countless children die, she’s lost faith in the possibility of systemic reform. Dennis is a lawyer who still believes that if enough people have the correct information they will do the right thing. Dujuan is a young street thug torn by a chaos of grief and rage at his little sister’s death. And Larry Gordon is Vexcorp’s CEO.
Their lives converge when Dujuan mugs Malia. Her scornful comparison of Dujuan to Vexcorp triggers a storm inside him. That storm only clears when he identifies the real agent of his pain: Larry Gordon. Injury requires justice, so Dujuan kidnaps Gordon and assembles a rough court to try him for murder. He picks Malia to be the judge because she knows the facts and because, as Dujuan says, “You want this as bad as me.” As bystanders become involved and time runs out, Malia is forced to make grueling moral decisions between survival and loyalty, safety and courage, agency and despair.
Derrick Jensen has written a novel as compelling as it is necessary: with our planet under serious threat, Malia’s decisions face us all.

“Derrick Jensen is a rare and original voice of sanity in a chaotic world. He has wisdom and wit, grace and style, and is a wonderful guide to a good life beautifully lived.” —Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

“Derrick Jensen is a public intellectual who both breaks and mends the reader’s heart.” —Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet For A Small Planet

“Derrick Jensen is a man driven to stare without flinching at the baleful design of our culture… His analysis of our culture’s predilection for hatred and destruction will rattle your bones.” —Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael

Hailed as the philosopher poet of the ecological movement, Derrick Jensen is the widely acclaimed author of Endgame, A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe (a finalist for the 2003 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize), and Walking on Water, among many others. Jensen’s writing has been described as “breaking and mending the reader’s heart” (Publishers Weekly). His latest book: How Shall I Live My Life?: On Liberating the Earth from Civilization (PM Press) is a collection of interviews with ten activists who have devoted their lives to undermining the destructive dominant culture. Author, teacher, activist, and leading voice of uncompromising dissent, he regularly stirs auditoriums across the country with revolutionary spirit. He lives in Crescent City, California.

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