Samantha Harvey, author of Orbital, in conversation with Jamie Quatro

Porter Square Books is thrilled to welcome Samantha Harvey for her latest novel Orbital! Jamie Quatro will join Harvey in conversation. This event will take place on Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm at Porter Square Books (25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140).

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A slender novel of epic power, Orbital deftly snapshots one day in the lives of six women and men hurtling through space--not towards the moon or the vast unknown, but around our planet. Selected for one of the last space station missions of its kind before the program is dismantled, these astronauts and cosmonauts--from America, Russia, Italy, Britain, and Japan--have left their lives behind to travel at a speed of over seventeen thousand miles an hour as the earth reels below. We glimpse moments of their earthly lives through brief communications with family, their photos and talismans; we watch them whip up dehydrated meals, float in gravity-free sleep, and exercise in regimented routines to prevent atrophying muscles; we witness them form bonds that will stand between them and utter solitude. Most of all, we are with them as they behold and record their silent blue planet. Their experiences of sixteen sunrises and sunsets and the bright, blinking constellations of the galaxy are at once breathtakingly awesome and surprisingly intimate. So are the marks of civilization far below, encrusted on the planet on which we live.

Profound, contemplative and gorgeous, Orbital is an eloquent meditation on space and a moving elegy to our humanity, environment, and planet.


Samantha Harvey is the author of five novels, Orbital, The Western Wind, Dear Thief, All Is Song, and The Wilderness, which won the Betty Trask Prize, and one work of nonfiction, The Shapeless Unease. Her books have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award, and the James Tait Black Prize, as well as longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize. She lives in Bath, UK, and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.

Jamie Quatro is the author of the short story collection I Want To Show You More and novel Fire Sermon. A new novel, Two-Step Devil, is due in fall 2024. A contributing editor at Oxford American, her fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. Recent essays have appeared at The New Yorker, Oxford American, and as part of the Greenpeace Climate Visionaries series. Quatro is the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo and teaches in the Sewanee School of Letters MFA program. She lives with her family in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Event date: 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

Orbital By Samantha Harvey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802161543
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - December 5th, 2023


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