For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague - a...Read More
For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague - a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice.
In 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika Crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.
Once unleashed, the Arctic plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects - a pig - develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet.
From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resilience of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.
Sequoia Nagamatsu is a Japanese-American writer and managing editor of Psychopomp Magazine, an online quarterly dedicated to innovative prose. Originally from Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University and a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College. His work has appeared in such publications as Conjunctions, The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, Fairy Tale Review, and Tin House. He is the author of the award-winning short story collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone and teaches creative writing at St. Olaf College and the Rainier Writing Workshop Low-Residency MFA program. He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife, cat, and a robot dog named Calvino.
"Exactly the white-hot missive of hope, humanity, and compassion you need . . . Each story is a marvel of imagination . . . Rich in scope and vision, with each nested story masterfully rippling across others, this is a visionary novel about grief, resilience, and how the human spirit endures." - Esquire
"Done artfully. . . . A heartbreaking tribute to humanity." - Entertainment Weekly
"Nagamatsu's novel isn't about hope, but about how things change in the space between possible and impossible. Of course the one thing that never changes, even or especially in tragic times, is human nature." - Los Angeles Times
"[A] searing literary dystopia. . . . Each character is intimately drawn as they grapple with a future that gives very little freedom to hope or dream. . . . It feels like an archive of personal stories about what the future may bring." - Buzzfeed News
"Moving and thought-provoking . . . You'll be impressed with Nagamatsu's meticulous craft. . . . Well-honed prose, poignant meditations and unique concepts . . . offering psychological insights in lyrical prose while seriously exploring speculative conceits. . . . How High We Go in the Dark is a book of sorrow for the destruction we're bringing on ourselves. Yet the novel reminds us there's still hope in human connections." - New York Times Book Review
"Haunting and hopeful story about grief, loss and the different ways we move on . . . Deeply moving." - NBC News
"Sequoia Nagamatsu's How High We Go in the Dark is a sprawling, epic debut that ventures from the Arctic to interstellar space, from life to what may come after it. With precision and harrowing prescience, Nagamatsu envisions the effects--both cultural and planetary--of a mysterious, devastating pandemic; but he explores, too, the astonishing commitment, resilience, and capacity for resilience that enables life--human and otherwise--to reach for survival. Sequoia Nagamatsu is a writer whose imagination is matched only by his compassion, the kind we need to light our way through the dark." - Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists
"Haunting and luminous, How High We Go in the Dark orchestrates its multitude of memorable voices into beautiful and lucid science fiction that resembles a fitful future memory of our present. An astonishing debut." - Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta