Alyson Foster God is an Astronaut: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781620403563

God is an Astronaut: A Novel

3.32 avg rating
( 370 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781620403563: God is an Astronaut: A Novel
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The day of the accident, Jess is in the backyard with a chainsaw, clearing space to build the greenhouse she's always wanted. And, as always, she is thinking of Arthur. Arthur, her colleague in the botany department, who never believed she'd actually start the project. Arthur, who, after getting too close, has cut off contact, escaping to study the subarctic pines.

But now there has been a disaster, connected to her husband's space tourism company: the explosion of a space shuttle filled with commercial passengers, igniting a media frenzy on her family's doorstep. Jess's engineer husband is implicated, and she knows there is information he's withholding, even as she becomes an unwitting player in the efforts to salvage the company's reputation.

Struggling, Jess writes to the only person she can be candid with. She writes to Arthur. And in her e-mails -- warm, frank, yet freighted with regret and the old habits of seduction -- Jess tries to untangle how her life has changed, in one instant but also slowly, and how it might change still.

With sure pacing and intimate wisdom, God is an Astronaut unfurls a story of secrets and of wonderment, the unforgettable and the vast unknowable.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Q&A with Lydia Netzer and Alyson Foster

Alyson Foster; photo by Becky Hale Lydia Netzer

Lydia Netzer: The central event of your novel involves space tourism and what can happen when civilians are “allowed” to go into space. What got you interested in the topic of commercial space travel? Would you ever go to space yourself?

Alyson Foster: My interest in space dates back to an article I read in college. I don’t even remember what it was about, only this section where the writer quoted an astronaut as he described orbiting the earth: watching the sun coming up, how the cities looked at night when he was passing over them. I was completely riveted by it—by how absolutely beautiful it sounded. I tore out the article and saved it for years. A little while after that, when I was working in the National Geographic Library, I ordered a book for the collection on space tourism. That was the first time I had ever heard anything about private citizens going into space. The book’s publisher was sponsoring a contest—they had included a little card you could tear out and send in for a chance to take a trip into space. So I filled it out and sent it in. The company was based in Russia, and it was maybe a little sketchy. My mother was relieved when I didn’t win. But I loved imagining what that experience would have been like—I used that when I was writing the novel. The short answer is yes. If I had the chance to go into space, I would totally do it. I think it would be a profound, life-changing experience.

LN: I love the way the tone of your story flows with the tone of the emails Jess writes—some hurried, some leisurely, some angry, some it feels she wishes she could take back. Yet all these messages, quickly dashed off and laboriously crafted, are presented on the same level, with the same value. Is this how email works, leveling all our communication to these same snatches of text without context? How do you see the opportunities and pitfalls of this rapidly evolving form of discourse?

AF: I think it does. The instant communication is wonderful for so many things. It allows us to keep in touch with one another from anywhere, in real time, and that’s an amazing development, right? But there are pitfalls too, and I tried to demonstrate them in the novel. Emailing and texting can facilitate misunderstanding. It can make it easy for intimacy to flourish in circumstances where it probably shouldn’t. It can preserve things that shouldn’t be preserved. It allows you to say things to a person you wouldn’t necessarily say to their face. It’s appealing in certain ways, but you have to be careful—as Jess and Arthur discover.

LN: Why did you decide to make Liam and Jessica parents? What role do the children play in the story?

AF: I really like writing children into my stories. Kids are an unpredictable element. They’re less guarded; they’re honest in ways adults are not. Jack and Corinne are truth tellers in this novel, I think, even if they don’t fully grasp the truths they’re revealing. Their presence also ups the stakes with regards to Jess’s affair. It’s a very serious thing to gamble with a marriage, and that’s even more true when children are involved. Actually, I think they up the stakes, period. When you’re a parent, you have to view all your actions with an eye toward your children. They’re watching you; they’re watching everything you do. That moral responsibility you have toward them—it’s not an easy thing. Jess definitely feels that.

Lydia Netzer’s debut novel, Shine Shine Shine, was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her newest novel is How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky.


About the Author:

Alyson Foster grew up in Michigan and earned her B.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, winning a Hopwood Award for her fiction. She received her M.F.A. from George Mason University, where she was a Completion Fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in publications including Glimmer Train, the Iowa Review, Ascent, and the Kenyon Review. Foster lives in Washington, D.C., where she works for the National Geographic library and writes for the National Geographic News Watch blog.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781408844984: God is an Astronaut

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1408844982 ISBN 13:  9781408844984
Publisher: Bloomsbury ANZ, 2014
Softcover

9781620403587: God is an Astronaut

Blooms..., 2016
Softcover

9781408845035: God is an Astronaut

Blooms..., 2015
Softcover

9781408854143: God is an Astronaut

Blooms..., 2014
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Foster Alyson
Published by MacMillan Publishers
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description MacMillan Publishers. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 1620403560

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.42
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.60
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Foster, Alyson
Published by Bloomsbury USA
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bloomsbury USA. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1620403560 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Seller Inventory # NATARAJB1FI1284675

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.35
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Alyson Foster
Published by Bloomsbury USA (2014)
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2014. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1620403560

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 21.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Alyson Foster
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The day of the accident, Jess is in the backyard with a chainsaw, clearing space to build the greenhouse she's always wanted. And, as always, she is thinking of Arthur. Arthur, her colleague in the botany department, who never believed she'd actually start the project. Arthur, who, after getting too close, has cut off contact, escaping to study the subarctic pines. But now there has been a disaster, connected to her husband's space tourism company: the explosion of a space shuttle filled with commercial passengers, igniting a media frenzy on her family's doorstep. Jess's engineer husband is implicated, and she knows there is information he's withholding, even as she becomes an unwitting player in the efforts to salvage the company's reputation.Struggling, Jess writes to the only person she can be candid with. She writes to Arthur. And in her e-mails -- warm, frank, yet freighted with regret and the old habits of seduction -- Jess tries to untangle how her life has changed, in one instant but also slowly, and how it might change still.With sure pacing and intimate wisdom, God is an Astronaut unfurls a story of secrets and of wonderment, the unforgettable and the vast unknowable. Seller Inventory # BTE9781620403563

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 28.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Foster, Alyson
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
SPHINX BOOKSTORE
(OTTAWA, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. NEW. Seller Inventory # RV 9

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 26.17
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 16.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Foster, Alyson
Published by Bloomsbury USA (2014)
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111620403560

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 44.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Foster, Alyson
Published by Bloomsbury USA (2014)
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BookVistas
(New Delhi, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # BD1-9781620403563

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 41.60
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.33
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Alyson Foster
Published by Bloomsbury USA (2014)
ISBN 10: 1620403560 ISBN 13: 9781620403563
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1620403560n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 95.63
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds