The Stargazer's Sister (Hardcover)

By Carrie Brown

Pantheon Books, 9780804197939, 352pp.

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

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Description

From the acclaimed author of The Last First Day, here is a beautiful new period novel: a nineteenth-century story of female empowerment before its time, based on the life of Caroline Herschel, sister of the great composer and astronomer William Herschel and an astronomer in her own right.

This exquisitely imagined novel opens as William rescues Caroline from a life of drudgery in Germany and brings her to England and a world of music making and stargazing. Lina, as Caroline is known, serves as William's assistant and the captain of his exhilaratingly busy household. William is generous, wise, and charismatic, an obsessive genius whom Lina adores and serves with the fervency of a beloved wife. When William suddenly announces that he will be married, Lina watches her world collapse. With her characteristically elegant prose, Carrie Brown creates from history a compelling story that interweaves familial collaboration and conflict with a haunting exploration of the sublime beauty of astronomy and our small but essential place within a vast and astonishing cosmos. Through Lina's trials and successes we witness the dawning of an early feminist consciousness--a woman struggling to find her own place among the stars.


About the Author

CARRIE BROWN is the author of seven novels and a collection of short stories. She has received many honors for her work, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and the Annual Library of Virginia Literary Award (twice). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in many literary journals. She and her husband, the novelist John Gregory Brown, live in Massachusetts, where they teach at Deerfield Academy.
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