Mandel, Emily St. John: Sea of Tranquility
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction
The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time travel, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.
“One of [Mandel’s] finest novels and one of her most satisfying forays into the arena of speculative fiction yet.” —The New York Times
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK: TIME Magazine, Today.com, Oprah.com, Bloomberg, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Fortune, Glamour, Buzzfeed, Good Housekeeping, Vulture, Bustle, Lit Hub, Medium, Parade, PopSugar, Tech Radar, TOR.com and more
“I could write a thousand words about Emily St. John Mandel, and this book, and this moment but I won’t dare spoil it. Truly soul-affirming.”
—Emma Straub, best-selling author of All Adults Here
"A spiraling, transportive triumph of storytelling - sci-fi with soul."
—Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies
“In Mandel’s stunning latest, people find themselves inhabiting different places and times, from early 20th-century Canada to a 23rd-century moon colony… The novel’s narratives crystallize flawlessly. Brilliantly combining imagery from science fiction and the current pandemic, Mandel grounds her rich metaphysical speculation in small, beautifully observed human moments. By turns playful, tragic, and tender, this should not be missed.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred
"A complicated and mysterious puzzle concerning the nature of reality solved perfectly, all loose ends connected... Even more boldly imagined than Station Eleven. Exciting to read, relevant, and satisfying."
“A time-travel puzzle… Mandel’s prose is beautiful but unfussy; some chapters are compressed into a few poetic lines. The story moves quickly… In the end, the novel’s interlocking plot resolves beautifully, making for a humane and moving time-travel story, as well as a meditation on loneliness and love.” – BookPage, starred