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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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