Pre-Publication Book Club

The Lightest Object in the Universe: A Novel


Kimi Eisele

FROM THE BOOK JACKET: What if the end times allowed people to see and build the world anew? This is the landscape that Kimi Eisele creates in her surprising and original debut novel. Evoking the spirit of such monumental love stories as Cold Mountain and the creative vision of novels like Station Eleven, The Lightest Object in the Universe tells the story of what happens after the global economy collapses and the electrical grid goes down.

In this new world, Carson, on the East Coast, is desperate to find Beatrix, a woman on the West Coast who holds his heart. Working his way along a cross-country railroad line, he encounters lost souls, clever opportunists, and those who believe they'll be saved by an evangelical preacher in the middle of the country. Meanwhile, Beatrix and her neighbors begin to construct a cooperative community that suggests the end could be, in fact, a bright beginning.

Without modern means of communication, will Beatrix and Carson reach each other, and what will be left of the old world if they do? The answers may lie with a fifteen-year-old girl who could ultimately decide the fate of the cross-country lovers.

The Lightest Object in the Universe is a story about resilience and adaptation, a testament to the power of community, where our best traits, born of necessity, begin to emerge.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kimi Eisele is a writer and multidisciplinary artist. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Longreads, Orion, High Country News, and elsewhere. She holds a master's degree in geography from the University of Arizona, where in 1998 she founded You Are Here: The Journal of Creative Geography. Her work has been funded by the Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Kresge Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Tucson and works for the Southwest Folklife Alliance.


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