From the Booker-shortlisted author of The Overstory, an enthralling, wrenching novel about the lives and choices of one family, caught on the cusp of identities
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Overstory, an enthralling, wrenching novel about the lives and choices of one family, caught on the cusp of identities.
Jonah, Ruth and Joseph are the children of mixed-race parents determined to raise them beyond time, beyond identity, steeped in song. Yet they cannot be protected from the world forever.
Even as Jonah becomes a successful young tenor, the opera arena remains fixated on his race. Ruth turns her back on classical music and disappears, dedicating herself to activism and a new relationship. As the years pass, Joseph – the middle child, a pianist and our narrator – must battle not just to remain connected to his siblings, but to forge a future of his own.
This is a story of the tragedy of race in America, told through the lives and choices of one family caught on the cusp of identities.‘An epic novel of modern America that weaves ideas of race, music and science into a mysterious but satisfying tapestry... Endlessly fascinating’ Independent
“There is no contemporary American writer quite like Richard Powers... It is rare to find a novel as intellectually and emotionally engaging as this”
“An epic novel of modern America that weaves ideas of race, music and science into a mysterious but satisfying tapestry... Endlessly fascinating”
“I cannot think of any novel other than Thomas Mann's Dr Faustus that enters so fully into the musical mind”
“A serious work, never less than considered and thought-provoking”
“Technically adept and historically rich... A powerful reminder of how the contemporary novel can excavate and reinhabit a lost past”
Times Literary Supplement
“Daring and exploratory... That Mr Powers has the mind of a poet shows all through this work. But he also has the eye and the will of the gladiator”
“A great hurtle of a book, telling several powerful stories at once... Strangely subtle and moving...an astonishing performance... Prodigious, illuminating and exhilarating”
New York Times
“Richard Powers is a kind of genius, but it is the 'kind of' that makes him so readable. Straight geniuses usually make bad novelists”
“His most accessible and mainstream-friendly work to date... Compelling... Both involving and illuminating”
“An extraordinary and unforgettable book”
“When Powers hits the right notes, as he does most of the time, his novel sings”