Tin House Books, Paperback, 9781935639558, 320pp.
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Combining historical and fictional elements, The Celestials beautifully reimagines the story of Sampson's Chinese experiment and the effect of the newcomers threatening and exotic presence on the New England locals. When Sampson's wife, Julia, gives birth to a mixed-race baby, the infant becomes a lightning rod for the novel's conflicts concerning identity, alienation, and exile.
What a riveting, wonderfully intelligent novel! Karen Shepard’s characters vibrate with desire and disappointment, so obdurately individual that a whole world springs to life around them and the past becomes completely present.”
--Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever and The Air We Breathe