A new novel by best-selling author James Howard Kunstler imagines life after fossil fuel.

Popular Novelist Portrays Life After Fossil Fuel – James Howard Kunstler

“The Witch of Hebron” Author Warns That A Permanent Oil Crises is Coming

For Immediate Release

Contact Duncan Crary 518-274-2723

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (09/23/2010) — A new novel by best-selling author James Howard Kunstler imagines life after fossil fuel.

Set in upstate New York in the not-distant future, “The Witch of Hebron” (Atlantic Monthly Press, Sept. 2010) is the sequel to Kunstler’s acclaimed 2008 post-oil/collapse novel, “World Made By Hand.”

Book Cover The Witch of HebronA renowned social commentator, Kunstler is perhaps best-known for his 2005 nonfiction book “The Long Emergency,” which delivered a stark warning about peak oil, climate change, economic instability, political strife and other converging catastrophes of the 21st century. The nonfiction ideas in “The Long Emergency” provide the basis for his “World Made By Hand” and “The Witch of Hebron” novels.

“A permanent oil crisis is coming. No combination of alternative fuels will allow us to keep running suburban development and commerce the way we have been,” said Kunstler. “Life in the mid-21st century is going to be about living locally, whether we like it or not.”

In “The Witch of Hebron,” Kunstler weaves hot-button issues like oil depletion and the perils of climate change into a compelling narrative of violence, religious hysteria, innocence lost and love found.

“The Witch of Hebron” picks up the story where “World Made By Hand” left off, in a not-distant future in the tiny upstate New York hamlet of Union Grove. The electricity has flickered out. The Internet is a distant memory. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis, but it’s little more than a rumor. Travel is horse-drawn, medicine is herbal and farming is back at the center of life. But it’s no pastoral haven. Wars are fought over dwindling resources and illness is a constant presence. Bandits roam the countryside. And a sinister cult, led by a man of other-than-worldly abilities, threatens to shatter Union Grove’s fragile stability.

Though characters from “World Made By Hand” reappear in this sequel, the new novel centers on 11-year-old runaway Jasper Copeland and the men searching for him. Out in the open, the boy encounters a landscape of social disruption comparable to the Middle Ages, but with abandoned strip malls in the place of crumbling Roman aqueducts.

Life without cars, air conditioning, Cheez Doodles and modern medicine may sound like a doomsday scenario, but it’s not all bad.

“The people in my fictional town have lost a lot of comfort and convenience, but they’re not distracted by television, computers and hand-held devices. Instead, they are compelled to fill their world with meaningful ceremonies, deep personal relationships and satisfying work,” Kunstler said. “I believe that when circumstances compel us to live differently we’re going to benefit hugely from making these changes.”


James Howard Kunstler lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He is the author of four nonfiction books: “The Geography of Nowhere,” “Home from Nowhere,” “The City in Mind” and “The Long Emergency.” He has written 11 novels and one play. His website is

Visit for a book trailer, chapter readings and an interview with the author.

For information, a high-resolution author photo and book covers for reproduction, visit:

To schedule an interview with James Howard Kunstler, or to request a review copy of “The Witch of Hebron,” contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723.


Media coverage resulting from this press release (and localized versions):

(This press release resulted in dozens of radio interviews, a handful of articles and a few book reviews. List coming soon).