The Smallest Lights in the Universe, by Sara Seager

Staff Pick

A path-breaking astrophysicist, Seager “spent my life searching for lights in the dark.” Then her husband died and she was plunged into a new kind of darkness, one that left her feeling like a rogue planet: adrift in the universe with no sun to orbit. As that metaphor conveys, Seager was centered by more than loss, and in this bracingly honest memoir, she puts her personal catastrophe in the largest possible context, intertwining her struggle to adjust to grief and raise her two young sons alone with her ongoing search for life in the cosmos. The challenges are formidable, often turning the rational scientist into a mess of tears and panic. But sustained by her passion for the stars (“the places where science and magic meet”) and helped by her children and the Widows of Concord (a group of bereaved women who support each other with regular get-togethers, practical advice, and the exchange of recipes, clothes, and dating tips), Seager slowly comes to terms with the pain, anger, and confusion of her new role, discovering truths she articulates with often heartbreaking lucidity: “when you lose someone,” she says,” you don’t lose them all at once, and the dying doesn’t stop with their death. You lose them a thousand times in a thousand ways. You say a thousand goodbyes.”

The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525576259
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Crown - August 18th, 2020

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