Do you often find yourself consumed in the things you are passionate about? If so, you might be able to relate to the characters that author John Pipkin constructs. He'll
The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter
by John Pipkin
Do you often find yourself consumed in the things you are passionate about? If so, you might be able to relate to the characters that author John Pipkin constructs. He’ll be joining the Wild Detectives and presenting his newest book The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter, which has already been praised for its intelligent and lyrical writing. So, come out and, quite literally, discover another world.
In The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter, John Pipkin tells the story of Caroline Ainsworth, the daughter of an astronomer living in eighteenth-century Ireland.
Caroline’s life is pulled off course when her father, Arthur, commits suicide. For years, Arthur had been consumed by a monomaniacal desire to chart the night sky and discover an unknown planet near Mercury, and —thanks to her talents in mathematics—he often worked with his daughter by his side. His obsession quite literally blinds him when he stares too long into the sun, and his late life is tinged by madness. After his death, Caroline abandons the search, but matters are complicated by her love for the blacksmith Finnegan, who was helping her father build an enormous telescope. Eventually, Caroline realizes that her father’s work—namely, a cryptic atlas—might truly hold the secret to finding a new world. Caroline’s story is set against the background of the Irish rebellion of 1798 and the life of German astronomer William Herschel, and his sister, Caroline Herschel; it is the Herschel’s accidental discovery of a new planet in 1781 that transforms the lives of all of these characters in unexpected ways.
John Pipkin was born in Baltimore and received his Ph.D. in British Literature from Rice University. His first novel, Woodsburner, was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post,The Christian Science Monitor, and the San Francisco Chronicle. It won the Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, the Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Pipkin lives in Austin, TX, with his wife and son. It was widely praised for its “intelligent and often lyrical” writing (New York Times) and its convincing portrayal of “men and woman consumed by their own passions” (Washington Post).
(Thursday) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Wild Detectives
314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas