Evidence of Things Unseen: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2003 - Fiction - 383 pages

This poetic novel, by the acclaimed author of John Dollar, describes America at the brink of the Atomic Age. In the years between the two world wars, the future held more promise than peril, but there was evidence of things unseen that would transfigure our unquestioned trust in a safe future.

Fos has returned to Tennessee from the trenches of France. Intrigued with electricity, bioluminescence, and especially x-rays, he believes in science and the future of technology. On a trip to the Outer Banks to study the Perseid meteor shower, he falls in love with Opal, whose father is a glassblower who can spin color out of light.

Fos brings his new wife back to Knoxville where he runs a photography studio with his former Army buddy Flash. A witty rogue and a staunch disbeliever in Prohibition, Flash brings tragedy to the couple when his appetite for pleasure runs up against both the law and the Ku Klux Klan. Fos and Opal are forced to move to Opal's mother's farm on the Clinch River, and soon they have a son, Lightfoot. But when the New Deal claims their farm for the TVA, Fos seeks work at the Oak Ridge Laboratory -- Site X in the government's race to build the bomb.

And it is there, when Opal falls ill with radiation poisoning, that Fos's great faith in science deserts him. Their lives have traveled with touching inevitability from their innocence and fascination with "things that glow" to the new world of manmade suns.

Hypnotic and powerful, Evidence of Things Unseen constructs a heartbreaking arc through twentieth-century American life and belief.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - evatkaplan - LibraryThing

SET IN RURAL TENNESSEE, an American returns from WWII believing in science & technology. Everything he believes in--turns out to be killers. Are we making our future better with technology and how far should we go with it--x-rays, atom bombs, jWell written, poetic, sad Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - georgiapeach47 - LibraryThing

This was really quite a different read for me. I found it an amazing book. The writing was sort of a beautiful flow of poetic writing. I did find that at times I sort of struggled with reading it. The ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
5
Section 4
21
Section 5
39
Section 6
57
Section 7
117
Section 8
195
Section 11
235
Section 12
239
Section 13
240
Section 14
243
Section 15
261
Section 16
321
Section 17
351
Section 18
383

Section 9
197
Section 10
205
Section 19
385
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Marianne Wiggins is the author of seven books of fiction including Almost Heaven, John Dollar, and Separate Checks. She has won an NEA grant, the Whiting Writers' Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.

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