in conversation with Marion Abbott about his new novel, A Doubter's Almanac, an exploration of the nature of genius, rivalry, ambition, and love among multiple generations of a gifted family.
"[Written] with stunning assurance and elegant, resonant prose . . . fascinating in its character portrayal and psychological insights . . . It is [Canins] superb storytelling that makes this novel a tremendous literary achievement."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
Milo Andret, the genius who solved the Malosz Conjecture and won the Fields Medal for mathematics, had an unusual, even eerie mind from birth, but not until he moves to Berkeley in the 1970s to pursue a Ph.D. does he realize the extent of his singular talents. From the drug-soaked enclaves of beatnik California to the verdant lawns of Princeton University, from turbo-charged Wall Street to the quiet woods of Michigan, his reputation as one of the century's most brilliant thinkers forms the backbone of a sweeping, epic story about family, love, passion, and Milo's fraught relationship with his son. With magnificent prose and enormous storytelling magic, Canin gives us a suspenseful, original novel about the nature of genius, and a son's quest to understand the mystery of his father's life, and its legacy in his own.
Ethan Canin is the author of seven books, including the story collections Emperor of the Air and The Palace Thief and the novels For Kings and Planets, Carry Me Across the Water, and America America. He is on the faculty of the Iowa Writers Workshop and divides his time between Iowa and northern Michigan.