After losing the future he imagined for himself, a writer sets out in search of connection and purpose at a tipping point with climate change and global conflict, in this breathtaking novel from the Strega Prize–winning author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers.
In late 2015, Paolo feels his life coming apart: While his wife, Lorenza, has decided to give up on pregnancy after years of trying, he clings to the dream of becoming a father, not just a father figure to Lorenza’s son. As their marriage strains, Paolo immerses himself in work, traveling to Paris to report on the UN Climate Change Conference in the wake of terrorist attacks that shook the world. His journalism dovetails with a book he hopes to write on the atomic bomb and its survivors, a growing obsession that will take him to cities across Europe and ultimately Japan.
Along the way, Paolo interacts with a vibrant cast of characters, each struggling to find their own Tasmania, a safe haven in which to weather the coming crises—global warming, pandemics, authoritarian governments, and wars. He develops a friendship with a brilliant, opinionated physicist, who followed the scientific path Paolo had abandoned, and who will test Paolo’s loyalty and values.
A stunning return to fiction after How Contagion Works, Paolo Giordano’s semi-autobiographical novel captures the fear, anxiety, wonder, and beauty of this time of uncertainty and upheaval, exploring how we can create and maintain relationships with other people when it feels increasingly difficult to connect.