ORFEO by Richard Powers

The protagonist of ORFEO, Peter Els, listens at age thirteen to a recording of Mozart’s Jupiter symphony and is transported. This novel continues the author’s literary exploration of cutting edge science and its impact on its practitioners. Peter Els becomes a composer of serious music, very much of the current moment in the arts. He is a musical idealist, with a belief in the power of music to truly move the listener. As he matures, his work becomes ever more difficult and timely. As a young man he was a prodigy in music with talent in science as well. The creative juices of both flow in his veins. In college he starts out in chemistry, but becomes enmeshed in music through the musical connection with his first love, Clara. In graduate school at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, his work becomes ever more difficult and “modern,” in part through his collaborations with Maddy, who becomes his lover and later his wife for a while, and with Richard Bonner, an experimental theater director who he meets while in graduate school. Richard pushes him to become ever more radical.

March 20, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Literary, Reading Guide, Scifi, US Midwest

GENEROSITY: AN ENHANCEMENT by Richard Powers

There are many reasons why Thassadit Amzwar should not be the way she is—always happy. For one thing, she has lost most of her family in the ongoing Algerian civil war. Her father is killed and her mother dies soon after from pancreatic cancer. She has left her home behind and is now a refugee studying in a mediocre college, Mesquakie, in Chicago. It is here that she runs into Russell Stone—who is teaching the creative writing course she is enrolled in…

October 18, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary, US Midwest, y Award Winning Author