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Year of the Comets: A Journey from Sadness to the Stars

247 pages4 hours


The author of Wind, winner of the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing, shares a memoir of depression and the cosmos.
On the clearest nights in the darkest places you can see as many as two thousand stars. On what scaffolding are they hung? Jan DeBlieu began to wonder. Her husband had become enveloped in a depression of his own, and both he and DeBlieu were struggling to find points of light out of that darkness. DeBlieu discovers it in the sky above, a firmament of order and beauty that prompts her to consider the worlds inside our minds, the delicate framework of neurons and synapses that support our fragile selves. Year of the Comets is her record of the journey she and her husband take from pain to healing.
“Seeing significance in the arrival and departure of comets is not unusual, but DeBlieu finds more than portents of doom; instead, grief and longing are tempered by the hope that things might look up again some night.” —Publishers Weekly
“In this memoir, science is not an external abstraction but something bound intimately to the author’s experience, which any reader in a comparable situation will find quite affecting.” —Booklist
“While the connections here between astronomy and psychology are ultimately subjective, its emotional message comes through: well written, often moving.” —Kirkus Reviews

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