Product Details

$24.00  $22.32
Atlantic Monthly Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.4 X 1.1 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Samantha Harvey is the author of five novels, Orbital, The Western Wind, Dear Thief, All Is Song, and The Wilderness, which won the Betty Trask Prize, and one work of nonfiction, The Shapeless Unease. Her books have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award, and the James Tait Black Prize, as well as longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women's Prize. She lives in Bath, UK, and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.


Praise for Orbital

An Oprah Daily Best Book of 2023

A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 from Literary Hub

A Most Anticipated Book of Fall from the Guardian and Los Angeles Times

"Harvey makes an ecstatic voyage with an imagined crew on the International Space Station, and looks back to Earth with a lover's eye . . . An Anthropocene book resistant to doom." --Guardian

"Beautiful . . . [A] gorgeous meditation." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Coming from five different countries, the space travelers represent a microcosm of humanity. This is a beautifully written, deeply thoughtful meditation on planet Earth and our place in it."--Library Journal, Starred Review

"Luminous and profound, Orbital is hard to put down and even harder to forget." --Booklist, Starred Review

"Harvey takes readers on board a cramped space station with six members of an international mission as they rotate the earth 16 times in 24 hours. Through their eyes, we watch typhoons grow in the Pacific, packs of noodles float in zero gravity, and continents whir by. A meditative novel that reveals our changing planet with a new urgency, and its inhabitants with a new and profound love." --Oprah Daily, Best Book of 2023

"Samantha Harvey is a beautiful stylist; in Orbital a group of astronauts look down on our fragile Earth. It's a slim, profound study of intimate human fears set against epic vistas of swirling weather patterns and rolling continents." --Guardian (UK)

"A meditation, zealously lyrical, about the profundity and precarity of our imperiled planet. Elegiac and elliptical, this slim novel is a sobering read." --Kirkus Reviews

"Radiant . . . With Orbital, Harvey gives readers a powerful novel that, in less than 200 pages, manages to explore questions of philosophy and religion, faith, existence, meaning-making, art, grief, and gratitude, just to name a few. In showing one day in the lives of just six individuals, she probes deep into the human experience as it teeters between the profound and the mundane--even, or perhaps especially, as experienced from the rarified vantage point of space. Her luscious and lyrical language is as close to poetry as it is to prose . . . Orbital is a gift of language, a meditation on meaning, and a beautiful exploration of perspective."--Kerry McHugh in Shelf Awareness

"Slender, gleaming . . . luminous prose has become something of a trademark for Harvey." --The Spectator

"Powerful . . . The strength of this book lies in Harvey's stunning and rhythmic descriptions of this constantly unraveling world . . . She moves unnervingly between the intimate and the epic, while subtly unpicking the essential threads that bind them . . . The beauty of the prose engages the reader fully and, overall, this is an uplifting book. Like the astronauts, the reader is left with no firm foothold. We nevertheless come to understand the words "Mother Earth" in new and positive ways. And Harvey reassures us that, although the world may seem fragile, "no negligible thing could shine so bright"--The Sunday Times (UK)

"A clarion call for our planet through existential awe . . . In contrast to the bleak apocalyptic tone of much contemporary climate fiction, Orbital's luminous descriptions remind us of the beauty at stake when humanity plays fast and loose with our single, and singular, blue marble."--Financial Times (UK)

"A radiant explosion of a novel."--Jamie Quatro, author of Fire Sermon

"One of the most beautiful novels I have read in a very long time." --Mark Haddon, author of The Porpoise

"This is such a beautiful book you have to adjust your readerly heart to take it all in. The plot is simply and extraordinarily our planet, watched by a handful of souls. Orbital wonders what it's like to be a human 'with a godly view' and because Samantha Harvey is such a spectacular prose stylist the wondering takes the form of breathtaking colour storms and brilliant encircling epiphanies of time and scale, technology and love, ambition and faith. It is an awe-inspiring and humbling love letter to Earth and those who reckon with the gift of it." --Max Porter, author of Shy

"A gorgeous song of praise from on high, a hymn sung in starlight to celebrate mankind's courage and endeavour. And without preaching or speeching it also serves as a lyric reminder of all we might lose if we do not mend our ways." --Mike McCormack, author of Solar Bones

"I admire Orbital even more than the rest of Harvey's work... I don't think I've read anything else with such love for its characters and such clarity about the state of the planet, and I was deeply grateful for the novel's refusal of despair or cynicism." --Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater

"Orbital is a magnificent, thunderous work and yet so brief, so fleeting. It is an elegy to planet Earth in all its splendour and fragility. Exquisitely well-written, it confirms Samantha Harvey as a singular talent." --Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

"Six astronauts on a space station are working, sleeping, and watching the world go by. They think about typhoons, algal blooms, seascapes, cities at night, Velázquez, frog calls, fried eggs, family. Orbital is a lush description of the gorgeous earth, and a broad-minded, level-headed, affectionate take on what goes on down here." --Daisy Hildyard, author of Emergency

Praise for The Western Wind

"Beautifully rendered, deeply affecting, thoroughly thoughtful and surprisingly prescient."--New York Times Book Review

"Harvey is an intelligent and audacious writer, able and willing to take creative risks and perform stylistic feats. . . This is a beautifully written and expertly structured medieval mystery packed with intrigue, drama and shock revelations...We navigate the corners of Harvey's characters, all the while marveling at the intricacy of her puzzle and the seductiveness of her prose."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Harvey has summoned this remote world with writing of the highest quality, conjuring its pungencies and peculiarities... In this superb novel, time, like guilt, is a murky medium, at once advancing and circling back, and pulling humankind helplessly between its battling currents."Wall Street Journal

"The Western Wind brings medieval England back to life... By the time we find out how Tom Newman died, we're less interested in a mystery solved and more intrigued by the fate of a long-gone place, a place that Harvey brings to life from its historical tomb."Washington Post

Praise for The Shapeless Unease

"To read Harvey is to grow spoiled on gorgeous phrases; she's an author you want to encounter with pencil in hand."--New Yorker

"Both cools and warms, lofts and lulls, settling gradually on its inhabitant with an ethereal solidity."--New York Times Book Review

"So exquisitely written it's a challenge to review, as there is an impulse to quote nearly every precise, stylized line. Her chronicle of morality, mortality and memory is adept at capturing the ineffable reservations with--and appreciation for--being alive."--Newsday

"The Shapeless Unease is a masterpiece, so good I can hardly breathe. I'm completely floored by it."--Helen Macdonald

"The Shapeless Unease captures the essence of fractious emotions--anxiety, fear, grief, rage--in prose so elegant, so luminous, it practically shines from the page. Harvey is a hugely talented writer, and this is a book to relish."--Sarah Waters

"This book felt enormous to me, mercurial, devastating, seeming to grapple with the nature of everything in a manner so compelling it is impossible not to be swept along. A book to return to again and again."--Daisy Johnson