‘Bewilderment,’ By Richard Powers : NPR | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack | #education | #technology | #infosec


“Life assembles itself on accumulating mistakes.” That’s just one nugget of wisdom in Richard Powers’ latest novel, a heartrending tale of loss. Bewilderment is a smaller, less complex book than his Pulitzer Prize-winning magnum opus, The Overstory (2018), although it also involves the devastating toll of environmental catastrophes. But in his 13th novel, Powers turns his attention from trees to creatures, and from a large cast spanning decades to a tightly bound father-son pair. His overarching concern is with endangered species — including humans, whose habit of turning a blind eye toward what doesn’t immediately affect them has imperiled our future on this planet.

Theo and Robin Byrne, a grieving widowed father and his acutely sensitive, motherless 9-year-old boy, are painfully aware of this dire situation. We meet Theo, an astrobiologist whose work involves positing and seeking signs of life in the universe, on a camping trip in the Smoky Mountains with his son. Their impromptu trip to the site of Theo’s honeymoon with his late wife, Alyssa — a legal advocate for animal rights who died two years earlier in a car crash — is meant to clear the air after another unfortunate incident in Robin’s third grade classroom.


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