*A novel by the author of the viral essay sensation “The Crane Wife”*
“An innovative work of climate fiction, a nuanced and empathic family story, and, for my money, the summer’s best novel thus far.”
“The most oddly enticing novel you will read this year…Keenly satirical yet unashamedly tender.”
—Wall Street Journal
“Reminiscent of the family explorations of Rick Moody, Jennifer Egan, and Lauren Groff…Full of brilliantly realized characters, Hauser’s latest is profound, often incredibly funny, and captures the times like few other contemporary novels.”
When Nolan Grey receives news that his father, a once-prominent biologist, has drowned off Leap’s Island, he calls on Elsa, his estranged, older half-sister, to help pick up the pieces. This, despite the fact that it was he and Elsa who broke the family in the first place. The Greys have been avoiding each other for a dozen years.
Elsa and Nolan travel to their father’s field station, a wild and isolated spot off the Gulf Coast. Here, their father’s fatalistic colleagues, the Reversalists, obsessively study the undowny bufflehead, a rare sea duck whose loss of waterproof feathers proves, they say, that evolution is running in reverse and humanity’s best days are behind us.