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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Explanation for Everything

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The Explanation for Everything Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As she did in the bestselling novel A Friend of the Family, author Lauren Grodstein has written a taut, provocative morality tale centered on one of the most polarizing issues of our time.

There is nothing inherently threatening about Melissa, a young evangelist hoping to write the definitive paper on intelligent design. But when she implores Andy Waite, a biology professor and a hardcore evolutionist, to direct her independent study, she becomes the catalyst for the collapsing house of cards surrounding him. As he works with Melissa, Andy finds that everything about his world is starting to add up differently. Suddenly there is the possibility of faith. But with it come responsibility and guilt — the very things that Andy has sidestepped for years.

Professor Waite is nearing the moment when his life might settle down a bit: tenure is in sight, his daughters are starting to grow up, and he's slowly but surely healing from the sudden loss of his wife. His life is starting to make sense again — until the scientific stance that has defined his life and his work is challenged by this charismatic student.

In a bravura performance, Lauren Grodstein dissects the permeable line between faith and doubt to create a fiercely intelligent story about the lies we tell ourselves, the deceptions we sustain with others, and how violated boundaries — between students and teachers, believers and nonbelievers — can have devastating consequences.

Review:

"A little romance fails to lighten a heavy-handed parable about the limits of belief and intolerance in Grodstein's third novel (after A Friend of the Family). Biology professor Andy Waite, preoccupied with applying for tenure and securing a major grant, is relieved to be teaching his signature biology course, which is called 'There Is No God.' Grieving for his wife Lou, who was killed by a drunk driver, Andy throws himself into his responsibilities and does what he can to keep her killer in prison, but he's lost when it comes to shepherding his two daughters through problems with school and friends. Then transfer student Melissa Potter enlists Andy to sponsor her independent study project about intelligent design. She also babysits for the Waites, bringing her closer to Andy and his family and to changing Andy's mind about the existence of a higher power. The cultural clash engineered by the author opens as fresh and diverting, but gets bogged down in improbable plot turns involving Andy's neighbor and Melissa's megachurch. Heady discussions about God between Andy and Melissa feel as unrealistic as their romance, leaving a void where a lively debate should have been. Agent: Julie Barer, Barer Literary. (Sept. 3)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Her narrative sparkles with irony and wry observation....Grodstein's portrait of Andy is spot-on, as is that of the evangelical student, Sheila, Rosenblum and the minor characters. A rumination on love and loss, faith in reason and faith in the divine." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Grodstein handles everything with a subtle wit, managing to skewer both the ultraconservative and the ultraliberal without making either seem absolutely wrong. Both the tone and the plot of the grieving professor finding answers in science are reminiscent of Carolyn Parkhurst's Dogs of Babel." Booklist

Review:

"A well-crafted story of wayward souls searching for forgiveness, healing and personal truth." Family Circle

Synopsis:

At Exton Reed college, biologist Andy Waite is nearing the moment when his life might settle down a bit: tenure is in sight, his daughters are starting to grow up, and he's slowly but surely healing from the loss of his wife. His life is starting to make sense again. That is, until the entrance of a young student who wants him to direct her independent study. There is nothing inherently threatening about Melissa, a young evangelist hoping to write the definitive paper on intelligent design. And yet she is the catalyst for the collapsing house of cards surrounding Andy as he gradually loses sight of his personal and professional boundaries as well as his moral grounding. As he works with Melissa, Andy, the hardcore evolutionist, finds that everything about his world is starting to add up differently. Suddenly, there is the possibility of faith, but with it also come responsibility and guilt — the very things that Andy has sidestepped for years.

In a command performance, Lauren Grodstein creates a fiercely intelligent story about the difficulty of holding to a moral position. The Explanation for Everything explores the search for meaning that all humans crave, the risks and rewards of faith, and the salvation that love can offer.

Synopsis:

For college biology professor Andy Waite, Darwinian evolution is the explanation for everything. But the unpredictable force of a charismatic evangelical student--a young woman determined to prove the existence of intelligent design--threatens to undermine more than just his faith in science. As she did in the bestselling novel A Friend of the Family, author Lauren Grodstein has written a taut, provocative morality tale centered on one of the most polarizing issues of our time. By dissecting the permeable line between faith and doubt, Grodstein creates a fiercely intelligent story about the lies we tell ourselves, the deceptions we sustain with others, and how violated boundaries--between students and teachers, believers and nonbelievers--can have devastating consequences.

About the Author

Lauren Grodstein is the author of the bestselling A Friend of the Family, which was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, and an Indie Next selection; the collection The Best of Animals; and the novel Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781616201128
Author:
Grodstein, Lauren
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Publication Date:
20130903
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Explanation for Everything Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Algonquin Books - English 9781616201128 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A little romance fails to lighten a heavy-handed parable about the limits of belief and intolerance in Grodstein's third novel (after A Friend of the Family). Biology professor Andy Waite, preoccupied with applying for tenure and securing a major grant, is relieved to be teaching his signature biology course, which is called 'There Is No God.' Grieving for his wife Lou, who was killed by a drunk driver, Andy throws himself into his responsibilities and does what he can to keep her killer in prison, but he's lost when it comes to shepherding his two daughters through problems with school and friends. Then transfer student Melissa Potter enlists Andy to sponsor her independent study project about intelligent design. She also babysits for the Waites, bringing her closer to Andy and his family and to changing Andy's mind about the existence of a higher power. The cultural clash engineered by the author opens as fresh and diverting, but gets bogged down in improbable plot turns involving Andy's neighbor and Melissa's megachurch. Heady discussions about God between Andy and Melissa feel as unrealistic as their romance, leaving a void where a lively debate should have been. Agent: Julie Barer, Barer Literary. (Sept. 3)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Her narrative sparkles with irony and wry observation....Grodstein's portrait of Andy is spot-on, as is that of the evangelical student, Sheila, Rosenblum and the minor characters. A rumination on love and loss, faith in reason and faith in the divine."
"Review" by , "Grodstein handles everything with a subtle wit, managing to skewer both the ultraconservative and the ultraliberal without making either seem absolutely wrong. Both the tone and the plot of the grieving professor finding answers in science are reminiscent of Carolyn Parkhurst's Dogs of Babel."
"Review" by , "A well-crafted story of wayward souls searching for forgiveness, healing and personal truth."
"Synopsis" by , At Exton Reed college, biologist Andy Waite is nearing the moment when his life might settle down a bit: tenure is in sight, his daughters are starting to grow up, and he's slowly but surely healing from the loss of his wife. His life is starting to make sense again. That is, until the entrance of a young student who wants him to direct her independent study. There is nothing inherently threatening about Melissa, a young evangelist hoping to write the definitive paper on intelligent design. And yet she is the catalyst for the collapsing house of cards surrounding Andy as he gradually loses sight of his personal and professional boundaries as well as his moral grounding. As he works with Melissa, Andy, the hardcore evolutionist, finds that everything about his world is starting to add up differently. Suddenly, there is the possibility of faith, but with it also come responsibility and guilt — the very things that Andy has sidestepped for years.

In a command performance, Lauren Grodstein creates a fiercely intelligent story about the difficulty of holding to a moral position. The Explanation for Everything explores the search for meaning that all humans crave, the risks and rewards of faith, and the salvation that love can offer.

"Synopsis" by , For college biology professor Andy Waite, Darwinian evolution is the explanation for everything. But the unpredictable force of a charismatic evangelical student--a young woman determined to prove the existence of intelligent design--threatens to undermine more than just his faith in science. As she did in the bestselling novel A Friend of the Family, author Lauren Grodstein has written a taut, provocative morality tale centered on one of the most polarizing issues of our time. By dissecting the permeable line between faith and doubt, Grodstein creates a fiercely intelligent story about the lies we tell ourselves, the deceptions we sustain with others, and how violated boundaries--between students and teachers, believers and nonbelievers--can have devastating consequences.
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