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Alyson Foster grew up in Michigan and received her BA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, winning a Hopwood Award for her fiction. She received her MFA from George Mason University, where she was a Completion Fellow, and her short fiction has appeared in various publications. Alyson Foster lives in Washington DC, where she works for the National Geographic Society library. @alysonafoster
The day of the accident, Jess is in the backyard with a chainsaw, clearing space to build the greenhouse she's always wanted. And, as always, she is thinking of Arthur. Arthur, her colleague in the botany department, who never believed she'd actually start the project. Arthur, who has cut off contact, escaping to the subarctic to study the pines. But now there has been a disaster, connected to Jess's husband's space tourism business: the explosion of a shuttle filled with commercial passengers, igniting a media frenzy on her family's doorstep. Jess's engineer husband is implicated, and she knows there is information he's withholding from her, even as the cameras turn to her for answers. Struggling, Jess writes to the only person she can be candid with. She writes to Arthur. And in her emails, freighted with longing, regret, and the old habits of seduction, she tries to untangle how her life has changed in one instant, but also slowly, and how it might change still. Unfolding through Jess's emails to Arthur, written in glimmering prose, this extraordinary debut is a dazzling modern-day love story.
As though a gesture could save anyone - in this universe where even the smallest pieces are hurtling away from one another at the speed of light. That's all then. Or all I can say right now. What say you? Jess Frobisher is a botany professor at the local university. Her husband, Liam, works for a space tourism company called Spaceco, which has just become front-page news: one of their shuttles exploded shortly after lift-off, killing everyone on board. The press descends. With the future of the company in doubt, two filmmakers approach Liam about making a documentary on the space tourism industry. Seeing this as an opportunity to save Spaceco, Liam agrees to cooperate, assembling a team for another trip into space. When he asks Jess to go, she must decide how far she's willing to go to save her faltering marriage and her life as she knows it.