— Richard Powers
The image of the crane — an ancient, migratory bird of great size and strength — charges Richard Powers’ new novel with the universal force that links all living things.
For him, it’s the complex, delicate nature of the brain, the magical organ that has guided the Sandhill Cranes back to the same spot on Platte River every year for eons and led humans astray for almost as long.
The cranes arrive by the thousands in winter near Kearney, Neb., on their road south from the Arctic. The sight of the red-headed birds dancing their age-old steps in the stripped farm fields inspires wonder.
The humans who have found their way to Kearney in Powers’ story aren’t so certain about their existence, however. Their identities shift, change and disappear as self-doubt and confusion break down their hold on them.
Set in 2002, this novel is one of the first truly literary responses to life after Sept. 11 in America, a country stunned into paranoia and distrust.”