The Emergent – a novel

Best New (Debut) Fiction 2021-22

“For a novel that moves so swiftly from one American coast to the other, and back again, interestingly it is the obscure neighborhoods of San José that inform the soul of Holmberg’s polyphony of a novel, The Emergent. As a Californian I love this book. I love it because it’s the California I know but almost never read about. In this way, I see it on the bookshelf between Helena María Viramontes’ little masterpiece Under the Feet of Jesus, and Leonard Gardner’s beautiful Fat City. It’s that good.”

–George McCormick,

author of Inland Empire

The Emergent is a tale of blood, loss, family, and departures that orbits a continent, its casualties, and its letdowns. It is a story for those of us who will never be sure if we only imagined that hand at the shoreline reaching for us.”

–Salar Abdoh,

author of Out of Mesopotamia

“A woman’s bold reckoning with memory, and pursuit of all its drifting pieces. The Emergent is just that – an aching recognition of how family narratives persist, holding us in their loving embrace, or imprisonment.”

–Marc Palmieri,

author of She Danced With Lightning

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The Emergent is a haunting first-person narrative about young Kat’s shattered family and their complex histories. The title of this sensitive, evocative novel says it all: life is about our emergent selves and the stories we tell and hear along the way.” 

–Susan Shillinglaw,

author of A Journey into Steinbeck’s California

“Holmberg has created a compelling and thoughtful novel that is a beautifully crafted and complex narrative. The Emergent causes one to wonder if they will be bystanders in life, or if they’ll jump in–allowing the mysterious mosaic of life to create something fascinating.” 

–Emily Keefer,

author of The Stars on Vita Felice Court

The Emergent is not to be rushed through, if you can help it. Each paragraph is lovingly crafted, and I deeply enjoyed Kat’s Holden Caulfield-like alienation. As I read, I began wondering how real any of our ideas about our personal histories are.”

–Tim Gerstmar,

author of The Gunfighters

The Emergent is a modern The Outsiders, a gritty look look into the subcultures of America.”

–Wally Jones,

author of Sam the Chosen

Cover Design by Skyler Kratofil

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