Radio Wolinsky

Richard Powers: “Bewilderment,” 2021

Richard Powers, author of “Bewilderment,” in conversation with Richard Wolinsky, recorded via zencastr on September 27, 2021.

Richard Powers is one of America’s most distinguished novelists. In 2006, his novel The Echo Maker, won the National Book Award and was a finmalist for the Pulitzer, and his most recent novel, The Overstory, was short-listed for the Booker Prize and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“Bewilderment” is the story of a father and son relationship, set in a world slightly different from our own, in which a president much like Donald Trump won re-election. The father is an astrobiologist exploring planets based on spectroscopic input whose wife died before the book opens; he is dealing with his continued grief and with issues involving his brilliant son who has a host of psychological issues. Long-listed for the National Book Award, and the subject of excellent reviews, “Bewilderment” is a meditation on grief, on love, on science and on the wonders of nature.