July 16, 1945. The world's first atomic mushroom cloud rises above New Mexico desert. At the moment of detonation, the men responsible for the bomb, the physicists Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard, suddenly find themselves thrown forward in time to the year 2003. As they adjust to life in the 'future', Ann, a librarian, and her doting husband, Ben, befriend them. How the charismatic, time-travelling scientists affect both modern America and the marriage of these two ordinary people, is the subject of Lydia Millet's heroically mischievous tragicomedy. Oh Pure and Radiant Heart was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
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Published in hardcover by Soft Skull Press, 2005, 1-932360-85-9
"Though Oh Pure and Radiant Heart possesses the nervy irreverence of Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller, Millet makes the subject matter her own, capturing the essence of these geniuses in a way that can only be described as, well, genius."—Vanity Fair
Nearly sixty years after they watched history’s first mushroom cloud rise over the desert in 1945, scientists Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and Enrico Fermi mysteriously appear in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Faced with the evidence of their nuclear legacy, they embark on a global disarmament campaign. Along the way, they acquire a billionaire pothead benefactor and a growing convoy of RVs carrying groupies, activists, Deadheads, New Age freeloaders, and religious fanatics.
In this heroically mischievous, sweeping tour de force, Lydia Millet brings us an apocalyptic fable that evokes both the beauty and the tragedy of the nuclear sublime.
"Part farce, part comedy of errors, part spiritual inquiry, part historical testimony, part love story. . . a richly dimensional, shrewd and humanistic tale."—Chicago Tribune
"Complex and affecting . . . while its premise seems absurd at first, its message is anything but."—Washington Post Book World
"Oh Pure and Radiant Heart provides catharsis and education while allowing us to bask in the humorous, poignant possibilities of what if."—The Believer
LYDIA MILLET is the author of several previous novels, including Everyone's Pretty and My Happy Life, which won the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction. She lives in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona.
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Book Description Vintage, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Shipped from the UK within 2 business days of order being placed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000110872
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