By Louisa Hall
In the vein of Coetzee's Summertime or W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants, Trinity revisits the life of scientist Robert Oppenheimer as narrated by seven fictional characters who claim to have known him.
A fascinating, complex, and multi-faceted man, Oppenheimer was a devotee of liberal causes, as well as the father of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He loyally protected his Communist friends only to later betray them; he repeatedly lied about love affairs and struggled to explain his actions; he defended the use of the atomic bomb he helped create, then lobbied against nuclear proliferation.
Hall's brilliant and fresh new novel explores the overlap between science and literature, the connections between fiction and biography, and the different ways in which we know other people. Ultimately it begs the question: how can we ever really know another person?
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.
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- Publication date:
01 Nov 2018
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[An] elegant novel . . . It leaves you with the dazed feeling that trying to understand a person, to really know them, is an impossible task. — The Observer magazine
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 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
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