Bewilderment: A Novel (Hardcover)
Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize
A heartrending new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning and #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Overstory.
Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021 by New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, BookPage, Literary Hub, The Millions, New Statesman, and Times of London
The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain…
With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, Bewilderment marks Richard Powers’s most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?
About the Author
Richard Powers has published thirteen novels. He is a MacArthur Fellow and received the National Book Award. His most recent book, The Overstory, won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He lives in the Great Smoky Mountains.
[A] taut ecological
parable.... A touching novel that offers a vital message with uncommon
sympathy and intelligence.
— Kirkus, starred review
Soaring descriptions and forthright observations about our planet.... Offers rich commentary on the complex, often mystifying intersections between science, popular culture, and politics.... As the best-selling The Overstory continues to reverberate, readers will be excited to turn to another deeply involving Powers novel.
— Booklist, starred review
Marvelous.…Powers transforms the wrenching story into something sublime.…The work of a master.
— Publishers Weekly