The Invention of Everything Else
By Samantha Hunt
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618801121, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 2008
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New York City thrums with energy, wonder, and possibility in this magical novel about the life of Nikola Tesla.
It is 1943, and the renowned inventor Nikola Tesla occupies a forbidden room on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker, stealing electricity. Louisa, a young maid at the hotel determined to befriend him, wins his attention through a shared love of pigeons; with her we hear his tragic and tremendous life story unfold. Meanwhile, Louisa discovers that her father—and her handsome, enigmatic love interest, Arthur Vaughan—are on an unlikely mission to travel back in time and find his beloved late wife. A masterful hybrid of history, biography, and science fiction, The Invention of Everything Else is an absorbing story about love and death and a wonderfully imagined homage to one of history's most visionary scientists.
SAMANTHA HUNT is the author of the acclaimed first novel The Seas, which in 2006 won a National Book Foundation award for writers under thirty-five. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker and McSweeney's. She lives in New York City.
"An engaging portrait...and a poignant one of Tesla...There’s much food for thought here and some very beautiful prose." Kirkus Reviews
Hunt (The Seas) delivers a breathtaking novel that is both difficult to classify and impossible to ignore." Library Journal
"Oddly charming and pleasantly peculiar, Hunt’s novel offers a unique perspective on hope and imagining life’s possibilities." Booklist, ALA
Inspires both awe and envy Hunt seems to achieve this blend effortlessly making it more remarkable still with her own offbeat sensibility." Bookpage
"A New York City chambermaid sparks a friendship with oddball inventor Nikola Tesla in Samantha Hunt's dazzling novel." Vanity Fair
"Sophisticated pastiche of science fiction, fantasy, melodrama, and historical anecdote...It all adds up to a precocious math of human marvel." Elle
"Former real-life scientist Nikola Tesla befriends a fictional hotel chambermaid in Samantha Hunt's ingenious work of historical fiction." Marie Claire
"Hunt's magical new novel is a love letter to one of the world's most remarkable inventors For a moment everything seems possible." The Washington Post
[Hunt] puts her considerable talents to work Tesla's story is crafted with an intensity...that makes the heart beat faster.” Los Angeles Times
"Full of vivid imagery, sounds, memories this novel is a sweet story of just how normal it is to be different." Boston Globe
Hunt's history-steeped tale reminds us that science necessitates creativity, which also, of course, is the essence of literature." The San Francisco Chronicle
"In her vivid reimagining Hunt pursues the links between science and creativity and storytelling and invention to their logical extreme.” New York Magazine
Glorious pages of prose: daring and delicious, perfectly calibrated, fresh but not raw, original but neither off-putting nor disconcertingly strange." The Chicago Tribune
[INVENTION is] a smart, colorful novel about aspiration and wish fulfillment in a world engineers can’t control." - The Believer
"Hunt's fascination with language is unmistakable, resulting in beautiful, intimate observations . . . elegant, inspired." The Village Voice
"Marvelous one wishes these scenes would never end [it] takes its readers back to a kindler, gentler New York.” - LA Weekly
"Hunt weaves the stranger-than-fiction facts into an engaging novel that crackles with the possibility and promise of scientific innovation." - Seed
"An electrified, magnetized concoction that pleases, teases and dazzles takeoff soaring with her, you will not be disappointed..." - The Oregonian
”The author is rapturous, vividly in love with her subjects and her characters." - New York Observer
"[Hunt’s] novel might be 2008's 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics' soulful and scientific at the same time." - Velocity Weekly
Hunt weaves history and imagination to create a seductively original world ” -- Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment
A highwire performance by a soulful and wildly intelligent writer.” -- Rene Steinke, author of the NBA-nominated Holy Skirts
You hold in your hands an important, fun, educational, magic read." -- Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org