GalleyCrush: Bewilderment

by Staff

Today’s GalleyCrush is Richard Powers’s Bewilderment, forthcoming from W. W. Norton on September 21, 2021.

Perfect pitch: “A heartrending new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning and No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of The Overstory.”

First lines: But we might never find them? We’d set up the scope on the deck, on a clear autumn night, on the edge of one of the last patches of darkness in the eastern U.S. Darkness this good was hard to come by, and so much darkness in one place lit up the sky. We pointed the tube through a gap in the trees above our rented cabin. Robin pulled his eye from the eyepiece—my sad, singular, newly turning nine-year-old, in trouble with this world.”

Book buzz: “Reading a novel by Richard Powers is like taking a tiny spaceship on a voyage into his circulatory system and nervous system and brainpan and gut. He lets you in, is what I’m saying, and you feel it as the gravitational pull moves you from earth to him. This is especially true in Bewilderment, where a brain is a universe and a universe is a brain and both are un-understandable together. This book [will] break your heart; his compassion will flay you. What [Powers] did for trees in The Overstory and for German lieder in The Time of Our Singing, is what he does for parenthood in Bewilderment; he particularizes it and then universalizes it and then you see stardust.” —Erica Eisdorfer of Flyleaf Books

Book notes: Hardcover, fiction, 288 pages.

Author bio: Richard Powers has published thirteen novels. He is a MacArthur Fellow and received a National Book Award. His novel The Overstory won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He lives in the Great Smoky Mountains.