Braving the mysteries of the heart's desire, Maureen Howard renders the heady madness of a first kiss while plumbing history, art, genetics, and astronomy to explore the inevitable morning-after question: Why do two people fall in love? The exhilarating flights and emotional depth of Howard's storytelling balance the fates of two young lovers in New York: Artie, a bastard, perhaps "begot in the mud of Woodstock, " now a boyish computer wizard; and Louise, a hot new painter out of the Midwest, seriously committed to her art. Their romance, seemingly shattered on the eve of the millennium, is played out against the tale of two old lovers lost to each other for a half-century. These intertwined lives gather history and time itself into a narrative of intelligence and wit, where truth surfaces - as it will - both to wound and to heal. Woven into the stories of these young and old lovers are glimpses of the New York art scene and the uneasy cohabitation of art and technology. In seamless entries on the exploits of formative geniuses, from Ben Franklin to Robert Oppenheimer, the novel also brings the desire for progress into perspective with the limited dreams of private life.
Maureen Howard is the author of seven novels, including Grace Abounding, Expensive Habits, and Natural History, all of which were nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. She has taught at a number of American universities, including Columbia, Princeton, Amherst, and Yale, and was recently awarded the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in New York City.