Books by Ken Kalfus
NPR stories about Ken Kalfus
NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three of our go-to independent booksellers to help fill our beach bags with good books. The result is a reading list that's all about youth and ritual.
Ken Kalfus' new novel about an astronomer obsessed with attracting the attention of Martians appears at first to be an homage to the scientific romances of H.G. Wells and the lost-world sagas of H. Rider Haggard. As the novel develops, however, its unique social commentaries emerge.
Believing evidence of life on Mars, a scientist sells a scheme to signal the red planet via a giant, burning triangle — each side 306 miles — dug in the Egyptian desert. Ken Kalfus' compact (at 207 pages) and deeply satisfying novel Equilateral sends up the arrogance and casual racism of the Victorian mindset.
Maureen Corrigan runs down her list of the year's best fiction, including a series of books set in post-Sept. 11 New York City, Richard Ford's last installment in the Frank Bascombe trilogy and fiction by two Alices.
Ken Kalfus' most recent novel is A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, a finalist for the National Book Award. The author of two earlier collections of stories and another novel, he lives in Philadelphia.