February 2017 Feature

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Charmed Particles

by Chrissy Kolaya
Dzanc Books, 2015

Told with the steady pacing of a master wordsmith, Kolaya's debut novel details the complicated relationships humans have with the concepts of home, work, and life, all set against a serene backdrop of the American Midwest. From the back:

Rural Nicolet, Illinois, is a city anchored between two opposing forces, a living history museum and a laboratory for experiments in high-energy particle physics. When the proposal to build the Superconducting Super Collider under the town sparks debate between the scientists and locals, two families find themselves on opposite sides of a controversy that fractures the community, exposing deep cultural rifts between longtime friends.

Abhijat, a scientist from India now working at the National Accelerator Research Laboratory, has a sole obsession: making a name for himself as one of the great theoretical physicists. The search for recognition blinds him to the burgeoning distance between him and his wife, Sarala, who devotes herself to their daughter Meena and assimilating into suburban America. Across town, Rose Winchester strives to raise precious Lily, stitching together an unconventional marriage from the brief visits and vibrant letters of her husband Randolph, who fancies himself the last great gentleman explorer.

With incisive prose and infinite humanity, CHARMED PARTICLES traces the collision of past and progress, science and tradition, and the unimagined elements that may arise in the aftermath.

You can find more from Chrissy on her website, chrissykolaya.com, and connect with her on Twitter at @ChrissyKolaya and on Instagram at @chrissykolaya.  For more from Dzanc Books, visit dzancbooks.org.

To purchase Charmed Particles and other great books from this season, visit the Bookstore!