Stephen Kiernan with Jenna Blum

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You won't want to miss this event on Crowdcast with Stephen Kiernan, where he'll discuss his new novel, UNIVERSE OF TWO, with bestselling author Jenna Blum! UNIVERSE OF TWO is the fictionalized account of Charlie Fisk, the gifted real-life mathematician who was drafted into Manhattan Project and ordered against his conscience to build the detonator for the atomic bomb.  From Stephen: "August 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is my fervent hope that UNIVERSE OF TWO will humanize the misgivings shared by the bomb's architects, through its story of a man and woman trying to love one another while they are trapped in creating the strongest instrument of slaughter in human history."

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From the critically acclaimed author of The Baker’s Secret and The Curiosity comes a novel of conscience, love, and redemption—a fascinating fictionalized account of the life of Charlie Fisk, a gifted mathematician who was drafted into Manhattan Project and ordered against his morals to build the detonator for the atomic bomb. With his musician wife, he spends his postwar life seeking redemption—and they find it together.

Graduating from Harvard at the height of World War II, brilliant mathematician Charlie Fish is assigned to the Manhattan Project. Working with some of the age’s greatest scientific minds, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard, Charlie is assigned the task of designing and building the detonator of the atomic bomb.

As he performs that work Charlie suffers a crisis of conscience, which his wife, Brenda—unaware of the true nature of Charlie’s top-secret task—mistakes as self-doubt. She urges him to set aside his qualms and continue. Once the bombs strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the feelings of culpability devastate him and Brenda.

At the war’s end, Charlie receives a scholarship to pursue a PhD in physics at Stanford—an opportunity he and Brenda hope will allow them a fresh start. But the past proves inescapable. All any of his new colleagues can talk about is the bomb, and what greater atomic weapons might be on the horizon. Haunted by guilt, Charlie and Brenda leave Stanford and decide to dedicate the rest of their lives to making amends for the evil he helped to birth into the world.

Based on the life of the actual mathematician Charles B. Fisk, Universe of Two combines riveting historical drama with a poignant love story. Stephen Kiernan has conjured a remarkable account of two people struggling to heal their consciences and find peace in a world forever changed.

Stephen P. Kiernan is a graduate of Middlebury College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He spent more than twenty years as a journalist, winning numerous awards before turning to fiction writing. He is the author of the novels The Curiosity, The Hummingbird, and The Baker’s Secret. Kiernan lives in Vermont.

Event date: 
Monday, August 10, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Universe of Two: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062878441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - August 4th, 2020

The Baker's Secret: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062369598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 3rd, 2018

The Hummingbird: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062369550
Availability: Available to Order
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 28th, 2016

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The Lost Family: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062742179
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Harper Paperbacks - June 4th, 2019

Those Who Save Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156031660
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Harvest Books - May 2nd, 2005

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