In the vein of Coetzee's Summertime or W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants, Trinity revisits the life of scientist Robert Oppenheimer as narrated by seven fictional characters who claim to have known him.
'Brilliant . . . Hall has shaped a richly imagined, tremendously moving fictional work. Its genius is not to explain but to embody the science and politics that shaped Oppenheimer's life . . .The resulting quantum portrait feels both true and dazzlingly unfamiliar' New York Times
J. Robert Oppenheimer - the father of the atomic bomb - was a brilliant scientist, a champion of liberal causes, and a complex and often contradictory character. In Louisa Hall's kaleidoscopic novel, seven fictional characters bear witness to his life. From a secret service agent who tailed him in San Francisco, to the young lover of a colleague in Los Alamos, to a woman fleeing McCarthyism who knew him on St. John, as these men and women fall into the orbit of a brilliant but mercurial mind at work, all consider his complicated legacy while also uncovering deep and often unsettling truths about their own lives.
In Trinity, Louisa Hall has crafted an explosive story about what it means to truly know someone, and about the secrets we keep from the world and from ourselves.
Trinity is an intelligent and sweeping account of the characters - some real, some fictional - swirling around the testing of the first atomic bomb. It is also an affecting meditation on the ways in which we betray others and, in the process, ourselves. - Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs
Richly imagined, tremendously moving
- New York Times
- Vanity Fair
A striking portrait of a man who fathered the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and then went on to embrace liberal causes, lie about love affairs and lobby against nuclear proliferation - Mail on Sunday
A splintered and intriguing portrait
- Financial Times
A brilliant imagining of how the details omitted from one notorious man's story might define him more fully than the broad strokes we already know . . . Trinity sounds a wake-up call - Time
Louisa Hall grew up in Philadelphia. After graduating from Harvard, she played squash professionally while finishing her premedical coursework and working in a research lab at the Albert Einstein Hospital. She holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Texas at Austin, where she currently teaches literature and creative writing, and supervises a poetry workshop at the Austin State Psychiatric Hospital. She is the author of the novel The Carriage House, and her poems have been published in the New Republic, Southwest Review, Ellipsis, and other journals.