Skip to main content


State of Wonder (Digital Audiobook)

A Novel

By Ann Patchett, Hope Davis (Narrator)

Publication Date: June 6, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (5/8/2012)
Paperback, Large Print (6/7/2011)
CD-Audio (5/8/2012)
Paperback (9/16/2014)
Paperback, Chinese (1/1/2013)
Prebound (5/8/2012)
Hardcover (6/1/2011)
Compact Disc (6/7/2011)
Paperback (4/1/2012)
Hardcover (6/7/2011)

June 2011 Indie Next List

“When Marina Singh receives a note that her office mate, Anders Eckman, has died in the Amazon while investigating scientific work on female fertility, she is persuaded to follow him into the jungle in search of the doctor with whom he worked - who has also exerted a crucial influence on Marina's life - and to retrieve Anders' personal effects. This spellbinding, richly atmospheric novel raises ethical questions about scientific research and discovery, loyalty, honesty, and love. Not to be missed!”
— Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI
View the List

Summer 2012 Reading Group

“When Marina Singh receives a note that her office mate, Anders Eckman, has died in the Amazon while investigating scientific work on female fertility, she is persuaded to follow him into the jungle in search of the doctor with whom he worked -- who has also exerted a crucial influence on Marina's life - and to retrieve Anders' personal effects. This spellbinding, richly atmospheric novel raises ethical questions about scientific research and discovery, loyalty, honesty, and love. Not to be missed!”
— Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI
View the List

Description

New York Times Bestseller; Orange Prize nominee; a Time Magazine’s Best Books of the Year; a Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Top Ten Best Books; and a Wellcome Trust Book Prize nominee.

“Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett’s fiction.”—New York Times Book Review

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest.

Marina Singh is a research scientist at Vogel, a pharmaceutical institute in Minnesota, and inconveniently in love with her boss, Mr. Fox. When one of her colleagues is reported to have died while following up on the progress of a field team based in Brazil, Marina is dispatched by Mr. Fox to the Amazon to uncover the truth of his death. And his widow wants his effects. She travels to Manaus, then down into the Amazonian delta, deep into the dense, dark, insect-infested jungle. The research team is looking into the development of a new miracle drug that could revolutionize Western society. A local tribe has the bark of a certain tree, it yields a substance which allows them to conceive late into middle age: many of the women are getting pregnant into their sixties and seventies. The problem is that the team is taking too long: they have been silent for two years, and Marina has been tasked to find out what is holding back their progress. The second problem is more serious: the team is being headed up by the daunting figure of Annick Swenson, an eminent and fiercely uncompromising scientist who was once Marina’s colleague, and towards whom Marina has very complicated feelings. What Marina learns will change her life. In a novel that is packed with amazing twists and surprises, Ann Patchett returns with immense confidence to a broad canvas, teeming with atmosphere and characters and rich with narrative. Remarkable events--fights with anacondas; encounters with cannibals; deaths; re-births--and profound moral decisions come together in a novel that will enthrall her many readers and fans and is guaranteed to be a major bestseller.

Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotional urgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel CantoTaft, RunThe Magician’s Assistant, and The Patron Saint of Liars, Patchett   delivers an enthralling, innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wonder—a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.



About the Author

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain's Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the co-owner of Parnassus Books.