Runner-up in the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize
Jeanette is a young, solitary post-doctoral researcher who has dedicated her life to studying astronomy. Struggling to compete in a prestigious university department dominated by egos and incompetents, and caught in a cycle of brief and unsatisfying affairs, she travels to a mountain-top observatory in Chile to focus on her research.
There Jeanette stumbles upon evidence that will challenge the fundamentals of the universe, drawing her into conflict with her colleagues and the scientific establishment, but also casting her back to the tragic loss that defined her childhood. As the implications of her discovery gather momentum, and her relationships spiral out of control, Jeanette’s own grip on reality is threatened, finally forcing her to confront the hidden past.
Pippa Goldschmidt’s bittersweet debut novel blends black comedy, heart-breaking tragedy and fascinatingly accessible science, in this intricate and beautiful examination of one woman’s disintegration and journey to redemption.
'A delicate and fascinating study of a life in which intellect and external microscopic and cosmic fields interact.' Stephen Fry, Judge of the Dundee International Book Prize 2012
'A fine debut from a writer with considerable scientific knowledge and experience, in addition to her abundant literary talent ... a touching picture of a young woman trying to find her place in the universe.' Andrew Crumey, author of Mr Mee, Mobius Dick and Sputnik Caledonia
'It's a complex portrait, handsomely done: proof if proof be needed that astronomers are people, too.' New Scientist
'This novel is brilliant on several levels. Beautifully written, with many flashes of dark humour, it is fascinating... and is also a terrific portrayal of one woman's struggle with past tragedy and present difficulties.' Daily Mail
'It’s an extremely accomplished debut and the best evocation of the actual life of an astronomer I’ve ever read... The Falling Sky is beautifully written, uniting the cosmological and personal with effortless grace.' Alastair Reynolds, author of the Revelation Space Trilogy and former astronomer
'I really enjoyed this. It’s beautifully written, sensitive, as well as being a fascinating insight into the working life of an astronomer.' The Spider's House
'Lay readers and scientists alike will find Goldschmidt’s novel entertaining and will discover in Jeanette a thoroughly captivating and charming person, who will resonate in memory long after they have read the last page of the book.' Lablit.com
'A human drama as fraught with turmoil and heartache as any found in the best novels of any genre.' Chanticleer Book Reviews
'Artists, romantics, philosophers, mystics, feminists, photographers and scientists will all identify with aspects of Jeanette's journey... a striking debut novel.' Shelf Awarness
'This excellent science novel lets you travel through time and space, into the world of a unique, complex protagonist, thanks to whom one learns to understand a great deal more about the universe.' Fiction Meets Science
'Striking and remarkable' Fiction About Science
Publication date: 8th April 2013
Format: 198x129mm, paperback, 288pp
Read more about Pippa Goldschmidt
Watch an Interview with Pippa Goldschmidt
Watch Pippa Goldschmidt read from The Falling Sky