The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a...Read More
The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal - an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She's traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive's best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL's five previous novels include The Glass Hotel and Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
"I could write a thousand words about Emily St. John Mandel, and this book, and this moment but I won't dare spoil it. Truly soul-affirming." - Emma Straub, best-selling author of All Adults Here
"A spiraling, transportive triumph of storytelling - sci-fi with soul." - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies
"In Mandel's stunning latest, people find themselves inhabiting different places and times, from early 20th-century Canada to a 23rd-century moon colony... The novel's narratives crystallize flawlessly. Brilliantly combining imagery from science fiction and the current pandemic, Mandel grounds her rich metaphysical speculation in small, beautifully observed human moments. By turns playful, tragic, and tender, this should not be missed." - Publishers Weekly
"A complicated and mysterious puzzle concerning the nature of reality solved perfectly, all loose ends connected... Even more boldly imagined than Station Eleven. Exciting to read, relevant, and satisfying." - Kirkus
"A time-travel puzzle... Mandel's prose is beautiful but unfussy; some chapters are compressed into a few poetic lines. The story moves quickly... In the end, the novel's interlocking plot resolves beautifully, making for a humane and moving time-travel story, as well as a meditation on loneliness and love." - BookPage
"An emotionally devastating novel about human connection: what we are to one another--and what we should be." - Omar El Akkad, Scientific American
"If you loved Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, you'll devour this dystopian novel that's about time travel and mystery as much as it is about love, the importance of family and how much our individual actions impact the world. With vivid and memorable characters, gorgeously imaginative settings and a plot that will have you gasping aloud, it ping-pongs from an eerie encounter in North America in 1912 to the anxiety of trying to escape a plague-ravaged Earth to moon colonies that feel at once just like home and far from it. This is a triumph of science fiction, so give it a try even if the genre usually leaves you cold." - Good Housekeeping
"'When have we ever believed that the world wasn't ending?' asks a character in Emily St. John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility... At a time when that fear is so acutely alive, the question is revelatory. While Mandel focuses on many of the things that terrify us, she also illustrates how hope and humanity are flames that can never be fully extinguished." - Adrienne Gaffney, Elle
"[The] feeling of something lovely glimpsed and lost is everywhere in these pages...In Sea of Tranquility, Mandel offers one of her finest novels and one of her most satisfying forays into the arena of speculative fiction yet, but it is her ability to convincingly inhabit the ordinary, and...project a sustaining acknowledgment of beauty, that sets the novel apart...Born of...empathy and hard-won understanding, beautifully built into language, for all of us who inhabit this 'green-and-blue world' and who one day might live well beyond." - Laird Hunt, The New York Times
"Sea of Tranquility is broader in scope than any of Mandel's previous novels, voyaging profligately across lands and centuries...Destabilizing, extraordinary, and blood-boiling...Mandel weds a sharp, ambivalent self-accounting--the type of study that tends to wear the label 'autofiction'--to a speculative epic. We are shown what two forms can offer each other, and exposed to the interrogating possibilities of science fiction." - Katy Waldman, The New Yorker