Category Archives: Her Fearful Symmetry

Five Ways of Looking at a Richard Powers Novel

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying, with little success, to clear the decks so I can start reading Richard Powers‘ forthcoming novel, Generosity: An Enhancement. I don’t get status galleys very often, but it’s been taunting me for the past few weeks. Soon, soon. But if my reading time currently has to be dedicated elsewhere, I’m at least glad I recently stumbled over the cache of videos related to Powers novels that were posted by Ninth Letter, a literary journal published at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A few years back, apparently at the prompting of the university and with the help of the art and design department, the journal helped produce short films on Galatea 2.2, Plowing the Dark, The Gold Bug Variations, The Time of Our Singing, and The Echo Maker. All except the Gold Bug video feature Powers’ own narration; I’m particularly seduced by the one for Galatea, it being the first Powers novel I fell for, but your mileage may vary. Only the video for The Time of Our Singing appears to exist in embeddable form:

Also, the most recent video in the Ninth Letter‘s series is a fun look at the visual work of Audrey Niffenegger, whose next novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, comes out in September.