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As she did in the bestselling novel A Friend of the Family, Lauren Grodstein has written another provocative morality tale, this time dissecting the permeable line between faith and doubt.

College professor Andy Waite is picking up the pieces of a shattered life. Between his research in evolutionary biology and caring for his young daughters, his days are reassurringly safe, if a bit lonely. But when Melissa Potter—charismatic, unpredictable, and devout—asks him to advise her study of intelligent design, he agrees. Suddenly, the world that Andy has fought to rebuild is rocked to its foundations.



“[Grodstein has] fashioned in her smart, assured third novel, The Explanation for Everything, . . . a gripping tale of a biologist who finds himself approaching midlife and suddenly finding faith . . . Grodstein’s real gift is her emotional precision . . . Finding or losing God proves to be an equally destabilizing tectonic shift, and this novel is full of them . . . Their cumulative force will leave you happily unsteady, and moved.” The Washington Post

“Very smart and touching and unexpected.” —Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers and Little Children

Meet the Author

Photo Credit: Nina Subin

Lauren Grodstein is the author of the Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything and the New York Times bestselling A Friend of the Family, among other works. Her stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, and have been translated into several languages. Her work has also appeared in Gourmet, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She directs the MFA program at Rutgers University, Camden, where she is an associate professor of English.

In her free time – of which, like most working mothers, she has too little — Lauren bakes, reads voraciously, hikes (or at least takes vigorous walks around her neighborhood), and watches cooking shows with her child. She also serially dreams of home improvement, but mostly just moves chairs around. Although she left New York City years ago, she considers herself a New Yorker and roots for the Mets with a passion that feels, to many of her acquaintances, deranged. She spent many hundreds of dollars to see the Mets play the Cubs in the 2015 playoffs at Citifield and would have spent more.

Lauren collects American ceramics and visual art. She loves a big thrift store and a cheap strong drink.

She and her husband, Ben, met at a Lower East Side bar in early 2001 and have been together, more or less, ever since. Their son Nathaniel is seven and a half.


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