The Emergent – a novel

“…unknowns can be handled in two ways. You can stay on the beach and watch, imagining what might—but probably won’t—happen. Or you can offer up your mere physical existence for the chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

These are among the last words that Kat hears from her lifelong friend, Alma. The Emergent opens at the dawn of the internet era, and young Silicon Valley native Kat is alone.

Haunted by Alma and the rest of her family, Kat finds herself in New York City. She attempts to understand why she ended up across the continent. Shrouded in her family history and its ghosts, Kat tells a new companion about the shores of Oakland after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Depression-era farming communities of California’s Central Valley, and cold-war Santa Clara Valley.

But a series of mysterious gaps in consciousness and concerning injuries compel Kat to reveal more about herself. Will these revelations save Kat from her past? Or will they forever define her future?

pub date


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 – a rising toward a grasp of self and story, and aching recognition of how family narratives persist, holding us in their loving embrace, or imprisonment.”

–Marc Palmieri, author of She Danced with Lightning

Artwork by Skyler Kratofil