Lost and Wanted:
in conversation with DAVID KAISER
This event includes a book signing
April 8, 2019
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning writer NELL FREUDENBERGER—author of The Dissident and Lucky Girls—for a discussion of her latest novel, Lost and Wanted. She will be joined in conversation by MIT Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and Professor of Physics DAVID KAISER.
About Lost and Wanted
Helen Clapp's breakthrough work on five-dimensional spacetime landed her a tenured professorship at MIT; her popular books explain physics in plain terms. Helen disdains notions of the supernatural in favor of rational thought and proven ideas. So it's perhaps especially vexing for her when, on an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday in June, she gets a phone call from a friend who has just died.
That friend was Charlotte Boyce, Helen's roommate at Harvard. The two women had once confided in each other about everything—in college, the unwanted advances Charlie received from a star literature professor; after graduation, Helen's struggles as a young woman in science, Charlie's as a black screenwriter in Hollywood, their shared challenges as parents. But as the years passed, Charlie became more elusive, and her calls came less and less often. And now she's permanently, tragically gone.
As Helen is drawn back into Charlie's orbit, and also into the web of feelings she once had for Neel Jonnal—a former college classmate now an acclaimed physicist on the verge of a Nobel Prize–winning discovery—she is forced to question the laws of the universe that had always steadied her mind and heart.
Suspenseful, perceptive, deeply affecting, Lost and Wanted is a story of friends and lovers, lost and found, at the most defining moments of their lives.
“Are we connected? Are we alone? Freudenberger’s brilliant and compassionate novel takes on the big questions of the universe and proves, again, that she is one of America’s greatest writers.” —Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less
"This tender, engaging story takes a physicist for its heroine, and boldly bends the forces of the universe to the binding love between friends, between partners, between parents and their children. It’s not sci-fi, but something we might call fi-sci—a literary and emotional adventure peopled by complex, sympathetic characters, some of whom happen to do science as they navigate their most important relationships." —Dava Sobel
“Before the full scope of the accomplishment has sunk in—the lucid, compassionate portraits of a wide array of characters, the meticulous hand with which Freudenberger paints their world—you’ll be beguiled, as I was, by Helen’s narration, so full of humble longing and deep, sweet ruefulness.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of A Gambler’s Anatomy and Motherless Brooklyn
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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