Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Torrey House Press
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.9 X 1.1 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

SUSAN M. GAINES is the author of the novel Carbon Dreams and of the science narrative, Echoes of Life: What Fossil Molecules Reveal About Earth History. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and been selected for the Best of the West anthology and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Gaines's fiction is informed by a youth spent hiking and birding California's mountains and coastline, and by her education in chemistry and oceanography. She is the recipient of an Art in Science Fellowship at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study, as well as the 2018 Suffrage Science Award. Currently at work on another novel, Gaines divides her time between her native California, Uruguay, and Germany, where she co-directs the Fiction Meets Science research and fellowship program.


"Gaines' melding of sensual landscapes with ruminations on political history and environmental devastation will be a treat for conservationists, and her critique of globalization and portrayal of sibling rivalry are particularly well rendered. Barbara Kingsolver fans will want to take a look."

"Gaines' novel is deeply researched, and the reader will walk away with an understanding of not only Uruguay's repressive regimes, but also biomes, bird preservation, and more."

"Well-written novels that feature science (but aren't science fiction) are few and far between, and this work is a welcome addition next to Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer or Flight Behavior."

"A rich portrait of a country and its people, relayed with detail and wonder, thanks to a naturalist's eye."

"Masterful and beautifully wrought."

"Gorgeous, smart, and surprising, Gaines' family saga takes us into the large world of nations and politics, but also the microscopic world of mud and microbes. Tender and powerful. Also with birds!"
--KAREN JOY FOWLER, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

"The personal is political: if anybody has ever wondered what this insight means then I recommend Accidentals as an enchanting path toward understanding. A profound and moving experience awaits the reader."
--REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN, author of Plato at the Googleplex

"In clean, beautiful prose and with an environmental sensibility evocative of Stegner, Accidentals sings with the vibrancy of the living world...erudite and emotionally compelling, suffused with science and natural history."
--CHRISTIAN KIEFER, author of Phantoms

"An intimate family story with an astonishingly epic scope. Alive with history, politics, science, romance, and birds, it is as entertaining as it is intelligent, as beautiful as it is wise. Gabe's evolution from a passive observer to the passionate creator of his own destiny is a life-changing experience not only for him, but for readers as well."
--JEAN HEGLAND, author of Still Time and Windfalls

"As a conservation biologist, as well as an Uruguayan immigrant and mother of two first-generation Americans, I was as moved by the Quiroga family's layers of history, secrets, and struggles around land, politics, and love, as I was intrigued by the beautiful depictions of birds and the musings on evolution and extinction. This is a novel I would like to share with my daughters someday!"
--ANA LUZ PORZECANSKI, Director of the Center for Biodiversity & Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History