Longlist, National Book Awards 2014 for Fiction

ISBN 9780393240825
W.W. Norton & Company
Richard Powers

Richard Powers has published thirteen novels including Orfeo; Plowing the Dark; Operation Wandering Soul, a National Book Award Finalist; The Echo Maker, winner of the National Book Award; and The Overstory, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. (Photo credit: Dean D. Dixon) More about this author >

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Composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab—the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to find music in surprising patterns—has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive. As an Internet-fueled hysteria erupts, Els—the “Bioterrorist Bach”—pays a final visit to the people he loves, those who shaped his musical journey. Through the help of his ex-wife, his daughter, and his longtime collaborator, Els hatches a plan to turn this disastrous collision with the security state into a work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around them.