'Brilliant . . . A richly imagined, tremendously moving fictional work. Its genius is not to explain but to embody the science and politics that shaped Oppenheimer's life . . . True and dazzlingly unfamiliar' Andrea Barrett, Scotland on Sunday
'Hall's explosive fragmentation of Oppenheimer's life makes for an original book, a novel of the unseen and finally, the unknowable' Erica Wagner, Financial Times
'Triumphant . . . Compelling . . . With beautiful specificity and nuance, Hall interrogates such major issues as ethis in scientific discovery and breaching the chasm between public and private selves' Vanity Fair
From the acclaimed author of Speak comes a kaleidoscopic novel about Robert Oppenheimer - father of the atomic bomb - as told by seven fictional characters
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a brilliant scientist, a champion of liberal causes, and a complex and often contradictory character. He loyally protected his Communist friends, only to later betray them under questioning. He repeatedly lied about love affairs. And he defended the use of the atomic bomb he helped create, before ultimately lobbying against nuclear proliferation.
Louisa Hall, the acclaimed author of Speak, has returned with a kaleidoscopic novel about the father of the atomic bomb. Through narratives that cross time and space, a set of seven fictional characters bears witness to the life of Oppenheimer, from a secret service agent who tailed him in San Francisco, to the young lover of a colleague in Los Alamos, to a woman fleeing McCarthyism who knew him on St. John. As these men and women fall into the orbit of a brilliant but mercurial mind at work, all consider his complicated legacy while also uncovering deep and often unsettling truths about their own lives.
In this stunning, elliptical novel, Louisa Hall has crafted a breathtaking and explosive story about the ability of the human mind to believe what it wants, about public and private tragedy, and about power and guilt. Blending science with literature and fiction with biography, Trinity asks searing questions about what it means to truly know someone, and about the secrets we keep from the world and from ourselves.
Louisa Hall grew up in Philadelphia. After graduating from Harvard, she played squash professionally while finishing her premedical coursework and working in a research lab at the Albert Einstein Hospital. She holds a PhDin literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of The Carriage House and Speak and lives in New York.
Trinity is an intelligent and sweeping account of the characters - some real, some fictional - swirling around the testing of the first atomic bomb. It is also an affecting meditation on the ways in which we betray others and, in the process, ourselves. — Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs
Hall excels at creating distinct characters whose voices illuminate their own lives and challenges, as well as the historical period that saw Oppenheimer's fall from grace. Taken together, they only burnish the endlessly fascinating enigma of the flawed genius who became known as the father of the atomic bomb. — Publishers Weekly
Lushly written, this is an ambitious, unsettling novel that takes on big issues in a passionate, personal way — Kirkus Reviews
Trinity is a dizzying, kaleidoscopic marvel of a book, and a beautiful reflection on the impossibility of creating a truly accurate narrative of any person's life — Texas Observer
History, Hall insists, happens on the human scale and the narratives in which we find ourselves caught up often blind us to larger truths. This is an intelligent, serious novel saved from ponderousness by an abundance of sharp-edged details and the intensity of its characters need to speak — Daily Mail
Louisa Hall has created a splintered and intriguing portrait of this brilliant and conflicted man . . . Hall's explosive fragmentation of Oppenheimer's life makes for an original book, a novel of the unseen and finally, the unknowable — Erica Wagner, Financial Times
Triumphant . . . Compelling . . . With beautiful specificity and nuance, Hall interrogates such major issues as this in scientific discovery and breaching the chasm between public and private selves — Vanity Fair
Louisa Hall's intelligent, elegant and yet strangely elusive novel about the father of the atomic bomb . . . [is] elegant and true — Washington Post
Louisa Hall understands the words we don't write can be just as important as the ones we do . . . Few words go to waste in her new book, Trinity, a brilliant imagining of how the details omitted from one notorious man's story might define him more fully than the broad strokes we already know . . . Trinity sounds a wake-up call to those who have failed to ease the threat of planetary destruction . . . Oppenheimer changed course in his own life - and through Hall's imagined reading of his mind, she shows us that we still can too — Time
Brilliant . . . Hall has shaped a richly imagined, tremendously moving fictional work. Its genius is not to explain but to embody the science and politics that shaped Oppenheimer's life . . . True and dazzlingly unfamiliar — Andrea Barrett, Scotland on Sunday
Trinity is a very clever novel, both intimate and enormous in scope, as it explores how a man who created one of the most terrifying weapons in history can continue to move through a world he changed forever — Sci-Fi Now
Triumphant . . . With beautiful specificity and nuance, Hall interrogates such major issues as ethics in scientific discovery and breaching the chasm between public and private selves. — Vanity Fair
Much has been written about [J. Robert Oppenheimer] . . . but in this boldly imagined, multilayered novel, author Hall takes a new approach. Through her invented narrators, she explores themes of guilt and betrayal as well as the fallout from lies and self-delusion - in the process bringing Oppenheimer, an often aloof, conflicted man, to vivid life . . . Lushly written, this is an ambitious, unsettling novel that takes on big issues in a passionate, personal way. — Kirkus
Ingeniously structured . . . Hall excels at creating distinct characters whose voices illuminate their own lives and challenges, as well as the historical period that saw Oppenheimer's fall from grace — Publishers Weekly