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Bewilderment, in conversation with Richard Powers


Saturday November 6, 2021






November 6, 2021

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Powers (The Overstory) talks about his new novel Bewilderment. A novel with soaring descriptions of the natural world, a tantalizing vision of life beyond, and a moving account of a father and son’s ferocious love.

About Bewilderment

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… At the heart of the novel lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?


Chris Keulemans

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Richard Powers

Richard Powers (1957) wrote, among other things, The Time of Our Singing and The Echo Maker, which was awarded the National Book Award in 2006. In his work he explores the effects of modern science and technology. Powers studied physics and English literature and is a gifted musician who mastered cello, guitar, saxophone and clarinet, among other things. No wonder then, that his novels often refer to musical and scientific knowledge. In 2018, the international bestseller The Overstory was published, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize the following year. Bewilderment marks Richard Powers’s most intimate and moving novel.


Richard Powers