Lightning

By Jean Echenoz; Linda Coverdale (Translator)
(New Press, Hardcover, 9781595586490, 142pp.)

Publication Date: May 2011

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Description

Drawn from the life of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors of his time,
Lightning is a captivating tale of one man’s curious fascination with the marvels of science.

Hailed by the Washington Post as the most distinctive voice of his generation,” Echenoz traces the notable career of Gregor, a precocious young engineer from Eastern Europe, who travels across the Atlantic at the age of twenty-eight to work alongside Thomas Edison, with whom he later holds a long-lasting rivalry. After his discovery of alternating current, Gregor quickly begins to astound the world with his other brilliant inventions, including everything from radio, radar, and wireless communication to cellular technology, remote control, and the electron microscope.

Echenoz gradually reveals the eccentric inner world of a solitary man who holds
a rare gift for imagining devices well before they come into existence. Gregor is a recluse—an odd and enigmatic intellect who avoids women and instead prefers spending hours a day courting pigeons in Central Park.

Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Echenoz once again demonstrates
his astonishing abilities as a prose stylist as he vividly captures the life of an isolated genius. A beautifully crafted portrait of a man who prefers the company of lightning in the Colorado desert to that of other human beings, Lightning is a dazzling new work from one of the world’s leading contemporary authors.




About the Author
Jean Echenoz is the author of four other novels: "Le Meridien de Greenwich," "Lac" (winner of the European Literature Prize), and "Nous trois," "Cherokee" is also available as a Bison Book. Mr. Echenoz lives in Paris. Mark Polizzotti, a veteran translator of Andre Breton and Rene Daumal as well as Jean Echenoz, is the author of "Revolution of the Mind, forthcoming,"

Linda Coverdale is the awarding-winning translator of many French works and has been honored with the title of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution to French literature.


NPR
Thursday, Jun 30, 2011

Veteran French novelist Jean Echenoz knows genius when he sees it, says our book commentator Alan Cheuse. His new novel, called Lightning, is a brisk and enlightening fictional rendering of the life of the Balkan born, long-time American inventor Nikola Tesla. More at NPR.org

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