book cover of Playground
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Playground

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
A magisterial new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times best-selling author of The Overstory and Bewilderment.


Four lives are drawn together in a sweeping, panoramic new novel from Richard Powers, showcasing the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Overstory at the height of his skills. Twelve-year-old Evie Beaulieu sinks to the bottom of a swimming pool in Montreal strapped to one of the world’s first aqualungs. Ina Aroita grows up in naval bases across the Pacific with art as her only home. Two polar opposites at an elite Chicago high school bond over a three-thousand-year-old board game; Rafi Young will get lost in literature, while Todd Keane’s work will lead to a startling AI breakthrough.


They meet on the history-scarred island of Makatea in French Polynesia, whose deposits of phosphorus once helped feed the world. Now the tiny atoll has been chosen for humanity’s next adventure: a plan to send floating, autonomous cities out onto the open sea. But first, the island’s residents must vote to greenlight the project or turn the seasteaders away.


Set in the world’s largest ocean, this awe-filled book explores that last wild place we have yet to colonize in a still-unfolding oceanic game, and interweaves beautiful writing, rich characterization, profound themes of technology and the environment, and a deep exploration of our shared humanity in a way only Richard Powers can.
Genre: Literary Fiction

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