Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

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Soft Skull Press, Jun 6, 2005 - Fiction - 448 pages
3 Reviews
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart plucks the three scientists who were key to the invention of the atom bomb—Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard and Enrico Fermi—as they watch history's first mushroom cloud rise over the desert on July 16th, 1945...and places them down in modern-day Santa Fe. One by one, the scientists are spotted by a shy librarian who becomes convinced of their authenticity. Entranced, bewildered, overwhelmed by their significance as historical markers on the one hand, and their peculiar personalities on the other, she, to the dismay of her husband, devotes herself to them. Soon the scientists acquire a sugar daddy—a young pothead millionaire from Tokyo who bankrolls them. Heroes to some, lunatics or con artists to others, the scientists finally become messianic religious figureheads to fanatics, who believe Oppenheimer to be the Second Coming. As the ever-growing convoy traverses the country in a fleet of RV's on a pilgrimage to the UN, the scientists wrestle with the legacy of their invention and their growing celebrity, while Ann and her husband struggle with the strain on their marriage, a personal journey married to a history of thermonuclear weapons.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JeffV - LibraryThing

The premise of the book -- that which got me interested in the first place -- is that Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer, and Leo Szilard had their post-test Manhattan Project selves suddenly ... Read full review

OH PURE AND RADIANT HEART

User Review  - Kirkus

Enrico Fermi died in 1954. Leo Szilard died in 1964. Robert Oppenheimer died in 1967. Didn't they?It is Millet's (George Bush, Dark Prince of Love, 2000) happy conceit that they did, but, by some ... Read full review

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Contents

I
1
II
133
III
245
IV
351
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About the author (2005)

Born in Boston in 1968; moved to Toronto, Canada with her Egyptologist father and teacher/librarian mother two years later. Lived in Los Angeles (91-94), where she worked as a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications (of Hustler for 2 years; also Busty Beauties, S.W.A.T. (a gun magazine) and Fighting Knives: America's Most Incisive Cutlery Publication. Got a Master's in environmental policy at Duke University. Moved to New York in 1996, where she worked as a fundraiser for the Natural Resources Defense Council; then went freelance and moved to Tucson, where she now lives and writes full-time on an isolated spread in the desert, in 1999
Spends summers in Anchorage, Alaska. Contributed a number of personal essays to anthologies over the past several years, some still forthcoming, including one about fairytales, one about Star Wars ('03), one about literary books ('04), GIVE OUR REGARDS TO THE ATOMSMASHERS! (Pantheon, 2004), one about the environmental movement ('04), one about lost friendships ('05).

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