Something weird happens when you’re a novelist. As soon as you write about certain themes and ideas, you begin to see echoes in the work of other writers all over the place. It’s the literary equivalent of buying a certain make and colour of car, then suddenly seeing it everywhere on the road.
Powers won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for his remarkable book The Overstory, a novel that genuinely changed how I view the world.
In comparison, Bewilderment is a more compact and focused story, but it still packs a hell of a punch.
The story revolves around astrophysicist Theo Byrne and his nine-year-old neurodivergent son Robin.
To cope with their loss after the death of Theo’s environmentalist wife, he helps them imagine strange worlds out in space, informed by his work on exoplanets.
Right there on page eight is a discussion of the Great Silence, the theory of possible extraterrestrial life that I used as the title of my new book.