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The Smallest Lights in the Universe : A Memoir
by Sara Seager




Overview -
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST - An MIT astrophysicist reinvents herself in the wake of tragedy and discovers the power of connection on this planet, even as she searches our galaxy for another Earth, in this "bewitching" (Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review) memoir.

"Sara Seager's exploration of outer and inner space makes for a stunningly original memoir."--Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Sara Seager has always been in love with the stars: so many lights in the sky, so much possibility. Now a pioneering planetary scientist, she searches for exoplanets--especially that distant, elusive world that sustains life. But with the unexpected death of Seager's husband, the purpose of her own life becomes hard for her to see. Suddenly, at forty, she is a widow and the single mother of two young boys. For the first time, she feels alone in the universe.

As she struggles to navigate her life after loss, Seager takes solace in the alien beauty of exoplanets and the technical challenges of exploration. At the same time, she discovers earthbound connections that feel every bit as wondrous, when strangers and loved ones alike reach out to her across the space of her grief. Among them are the Widows of Concord, a group of women offering advice on everything from home maintenance to dating, and her beloved sons, Max and Alex. Most unexpected of all, there is another kind of one-in-a-billion match, not in the stars but here at home.

Probing and invigoratingly honest, The Smallest Lights in the Universe is its own kind of light in the dark.

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More About The Smallest Lights in the Universe by Sara Seager

 
 
 

Overview

LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST - An MIT astrophysicist reinvents herself in the wake of tragedy and discovers the power of connection on this planet, even as she searches our galaxy for another Earth, in this "bewitching" (Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review) memoir.

"Sara Seager's exploration of outer and inner space makes for a stunningly original memoir."--Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Sara Seager has always been in love with the stars: so many lights in the sky, so much possibility. Now a pioneering planetary scientist, she searches for exoplanets--especially that distant, elusive world that sustains life. But with the unexpected death of Seager's husband, the purpose of her own life becomes hard for her to see. Suddenly, at forty, she is a widow and the single mother of two young boys. For the first time, she feels alone in the universe.

As she struggles to navigate her life after loss, Seager takes solace in the alien beauty of exoplanets and the technical challenges of exploration. At the same time, she discovers earthbound connections that feel every bit as wondrous, when strangers and loved ones alike reach out to her across the space of her grief. Among them are the Widows of Concord, a group of women offering advice on everything from home maintenance to dating, and her beloved sons, Max and Alex. Most unexpected of all, there is another kind of one-in-a-billion match, not in the stars but here at home.

Probing and invigoratingly honest, The Smallest Lights in the Universe is its own kind of light in the dark.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525576259
  • ISBN-10: 0525576258
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
  • Publish Date: August 2020
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Smallest Lights in the Universe

Sara Seager has a hard time connecting with people. Despite a meaningful relationship with her father, she often feels a bit removed from others, a bit challenged by social norms. Instead, Seager feels at home when she’s gazing upward. The night sky has held her attention since she was a child and a babysitter took her and her siblings camping several hours away from their Toronto home. When she saw the stars, Seager was certain she’d discovered a new world.

As an adult, this continuing desire to discover new worlds propelled Seager’s professional life, but she remained less gifted in social relationships. So she was surprised when she found a connection with Mike, a fellow member of the Wilderness Canoe Association in Toronto. As the pair paddled the Humber River, Seager realized they were in sync. Off the water, their interests seemed divergent—he was an editor, she was an astrophysicist—but they complemented each other. He understood the day-to-day concerns of living, while she dreamed of grand possibilities. 

When Seager and Mike moved to Massachusetts for her academic career, she found herself torn between two loves: the stars and her growing family. Seager’s work as an astrophysicist was demanding, and Mike supported her stargazing. But when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Seager recognized the personal cost of searching the universe for planets that could sustain life. After Mike died, she was left to reconcile her thirst for discovery with her grief and the concerns that occupy everyday life.

In The Smallest Lights in the Universe, Seager shares a passion for the universe so deep that even this reviewer, a physics dunce, could grasp why she would spend her life gazing toward other planets. Analytical yet lyrical, Seager’s memoir is an examination of the parallels between searching for new life in the multiverse and starting over with a new life on Earth—the sort of connection only an astrophysicist might make.

 

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