Jennifer Haigh and Douglas Trevor


Heat and Light:
A Novel


The Book of Wonders:

This event includes a book signing


April 27, 2018
7:00 PM


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writers JENNIFER HAIGH and DOUGLAS TREVOR for a discussion of their works of fiction, Heat and Light: A Novel, and The Book of Wonders: Stories.

About Heat and Light

Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away like a bar of soap. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas.

To drill or not to drill? Prison guard Rich Devlin leases his mineral rights to finance his dream of farming. He doesn’t count on the truck traffic and nonstop noise, his brother’s skepticism or the paranoia of his wife, Shelby, who insists the water smells strange and is poisoning their frail daughter. Meanwhile, his neighbors, organic dairy farmers Mack and Rena, hold out against the drilling—until a passionate environmental activist disrupts their lives.

Told through a cast of characters whose lives are increasingly bound by the opposing interests that underpin the national debate, Heat and Light depicts a community blessed and cursed by its natural resources. Soaring and ambitious, it zooms from drill rig to shareholders’ meeting to the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor to the ruined landscape of the “strippins,” haunting reminders of Pennsylvania’s past energy booms. This is a dispatch from a forgotten America—a work of searing moral clarity from one of the finest writers of her generation, a courageous and necessary book.

About The Book of Wonders

A lonely female accountant falls for a man who seems to have stepped out of a Greek myth; a scholar uncovers a lost Shakespearean couplet and decides to quit academia; a celebrated author experiments with downloading a story from her brain and uploading it to another. In these and other stories, Douglas Trevor explores situations—both unsettling and comic—in which people lose their bearings, reinvent themselves, and resolve, sometimes haplessly, to make sense of their lives. Characters are kidnapped by teenagers; they are bitten by raccoons. Some of them go on Prozac, while others rely on bowling to persevere. Running through these nine stories is the ghostly and, at times, material presence of books themselves. What does it mean to turn to books for comfort? Or to uncover the ways in which the stories we absorb and revisit not only open up worlds but also close them off? In a variety of moods and settings, The Book of Wonders reminds us not only of the struggle to connect but also of what the most unlikely of people may realize they share.

Praise for Heat and Light

“Paragraph by paragraph, the prose is full of marvelous texture and material sensation. Heat and Light is an intricate and ambitious novel, firmly grounded in history and our time. The narrator’s encyclopedic knowledge and keen insights about the physical world and social life make the novel a thrilling page-turner.” —Ha Jin

“[A] stunning book, a grand book, a book of old-fashioned power and scale . . . it takes aim at power and greed, plunder and the profit motive, the rapacity inherent in the American Dream and the complicity of its victims . . . This is an unsparing book, and one that sings.” —Joshua Ferris

Heat and Light is a riveting panoramic tale keying . . . In the spirit of Don DeLillo’s Underworld and the novels of Dana Spiotta and Rachel Kushner . . . a greyhound of a novel; smart, sharp, hyper-precise, and near incantatory in its momentum.” —Richard Price

Praise for The Book of Wonders

"The Book of Wonders is aptly titled. These are richly inventive and deftly executed stories that brim with life—unpredictable, lyric, energetic, 'storytelling' at its finest. Doug Trevor is intrigued by the vicissitudes of 'character' and his stories touch upon moral, intellectual, spiritual issues that engage us all." —Joyce Carol Oates

"Deftly controlled narratives which are, by turns, darkly humorous, teasingly satirical and wickedly erudite. Extraordinary in their range of subject matter, from riffs on Greek mythology to bang up to the minute dystopias, these stories leave the reader with much to ponder and admire." —Colm Toibin

"The Book of Wonders is lovely, and, yes, wondrous. With one foot in contemporary life and another in the land of myth and fable, Douglas Trevor is a unique and memorable conjurer." —Dan Chaon

Douglas Trevor
Douglas Trevor

Douglas Trevor

Douglas Trevor is the author of the short story collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space and the novel Girls I Know. His short stories have appeared in dozens of publications, including Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, and New Letters. A professor of English literature and creative writing, he is the current Director of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan.

Jennifer Haigh
Jennifer Haigh

Jennifer Haigh

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the novel Heat and Light which received a 2017 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Slate. Her five previous books have won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN New England Award in fiction, and have been published in eighteen languages. She lives in Boston and at

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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