“Krieger evokes the dreary darkness of the Uppsala winter and the paranoia and entitlement of the young Americans there. . . . Krieger touches on the mix of noble and self-interested impulses that can propel activism.”—New York Times Book Review
“Exiles is filled with suspense. . . . It’s a fascinating look at a place during a particular time, but the intrigue transcends the locale. The ending is riveting and insidious. Which I mean as a compliment.”—Ann Beattie
“Elliot Krieger has created an original and wonderfully fallible hero in Lenny Spiegel, an American college student who finds himself in Sweden among Viet Nam war draft resisters. Passionate and complex, Exiles is a story about the confusion and quest for identity—personal, political, and moral.”—Hester Kaplan, the author of Kinship Theory and The Edge of Marriage
Sweden has granted asylum to American protesters against the Vietnam War. Some are draft resisters; some are wanted by the FBI for acts of violence; some are AWOL soldiers; and some are actually working for the CIA—or so everyone suspects. They are eking out their lives in Uppsala on a meager dole. Each thinks he would be a better group spokesperson than Aronson, who is the current leader of the Americans in exile and a wanted man in the United States. Into this maelstrom of conflicting egos comes an innocent, Lenny Spiegel, who has volunteered to travel to Sweden to help. He physically resembles Aronson, who “borrows” his passport. Until it is returned, Lenny is stuck in Uppsala where many believe he is Aronson. And Lenny learns that no good deed goes unpunished.
Elliot Krieger won an O. Henry Award for his first published short story, “Cantor Pepper,” and he is the author of a book on Shakespeare’s comedies. He has served as a reporter and editor at the Providence Journal and lives near Providence, Rhode Island. Exiles is his first novel.